My Inner Worlds
Twenty-one summers ago I began a meditation practice. It started from an internal schism between my workaholic nature in public accounting and a desire to be healthy. I felt stressed every day and consumed way too much caffeine so I could keep going nonstop. After the busy tax season that year, I found a flyer advertising an Introduction to Meditation course. I signed up and proceeded to learn different variations of meditation over the six-week class, which allowed participants to choose which one they liked best and incorporate that into a daily routine.
Over the next year I meditated regularly. I even bought a special chair for sitting still in comfort. (That first one wound up being not so comfortable, so I invested in an Ekornes chair that I use to this day.) The following spring I took the advanced meditation course, which I don’t recall very well. I just remember that after the final class my instructor, a mental health therapist, talked to me about starting therapy and offered to work with me. I liked her mind-body awareness, and we had already built trust between us in a non-therapy setting. We began the work of diving into Sarah, and I saw her at least once per week for the next two years. If you’re considering therapy, it’s well worth the investment, when/if you find a person you trust with your inner self.
My meditation practice lasted for a few years, and then it waned as other aspects of life took my attention. While I used stillness and silence in my new interests, it wasn’t focused meditation time.
A month ago Matt asked if I’d join him in a seven-week webinar meditation course. Because these are the types of things that we do on our dates, I said sure. Due to a miscommunication between us, I thought Matt personally knew this guy and that he lived locally in Chapel Hill. I expected a white-collar man who looked like a doctor and probably had a soft torso. When I saw the monk on-screen, I dismissed the class based on his appearance and his accent. He is from India, dresses in full orange regalia, and obviously cares for his body. It’s what one would expect of a yogic meditation teacher, so why did I feel skeptical?
The concepts shared by the monk resonated with me. While I had doubt on one side because he didn’t look like I thought he should, I felt the truth of the meditation flow through me. I had a bad headache that evening, which lessened to almost nothing during the mantra-based stillness. I felt peaceful and centered after the hour. In case you’re interested, here’s the link to the recording.
Our homework was to meditate for at least five minutes morning and evening each day—ten minutes total. I’ve done two five-minute sessions instead of the fourteen we were assigned. Week Two begins this evening, so I feel like I have a fresh start on homework. Will I get my gold stars each day? Check back for an update in a few weeks. I might even have a renewed meditation practice by then.