Okay so recently, I wrote a paper based off of an interview session I had about a meditation “club” at my campus. I had to add the quotations because it was highly stressed to me that it is not exactly a club as much as it is a meet-up. One of my good friends, Toe, is part of the reason why this meet-up has become a regular thing so he was able to explain a lot to me, especially for that paper. So, I figured I’d share with you all!
I started attempting to meditate this summer, I know that I am awful at sticking to things sometimes, because life gets in the way. So naturally, I asked my brother if he would like to join me for a nice meditation session, early in the morning before we got ourselves together. We had this lovely “productivity” schedule going with meditation, breakfast, chess, cleaning, reading, exercise, t.v./computer, go outside, and etc. All great things right? I decided to try meditation because I did some research and it is supposed to help you focus (which we all know I need to do, a lot), and it helps with stress and makes your brain less cluttered in a sense. So, naturally, I tried it, and boy was that hard! My mind kept going off in a million directions and I would continue to be unfocused which made it hard to keep track of my thoughts. So I came back to school this semester and my awesome friend, Toe, asked me yet again to go to his meditation club. I was excited to go join him and jumped at the first chance I was able to attend.
When we were ready to start this meet-up we began to chat a bit with the professor who was “in charge”, he asked all of us; Toe, our friend Liz, and myself if we had ever tried to meditate before and I explained that I had tried but I failed miserably. To this he responded with, “that’s part of the process”. Which apparently, it is… so I was pretty happy that it wasn’t my personal dysfunctional mind. Yay! Anyways, he told us to keep our minds as focused as possible by just focusing on our breathing, “breathe in and out, count your breaths one to ten, and then back, you probably won’t make it to ten without your mind wandering off, but when you notice your mind going off task, start again. It’s all part of the process and the more you practice the better you will get at it.”
We sat in a quiet room that has this tranquil atmosphere to it with it’s Buddha statue, which made it feel authentic and peaceful. The newbies ( Liz and I) were taught about the Zafu (zah-foo) and Zabuton (zah-boo-ton), which are the mats that you sit on when meditating. These are used with together in order to help your circulation. Naturally, I had to ask a few questions, so did my friend Liz one of the questions being:
Should we keep our eyes closed? (silly I know but,) The answer was: You can keep your eyes slightly opened if you’d like, or keep them closed. Depending on what practice you are following you can do either one. For us, we could choose. I was told that the Japanese tend to keep their eyes slightly open to ensure that they don’t fall asleep.
How long should we meditate for? This time we can try to do it for 20 minutes and see how that goes, but you can meditate for as long as you’d like, three minutes, five minutes, ten, twenty, half an hour…
How often should I meditate, before I start seeing myself in better control of my thoughts? It depends, there is no definite amount of time, it’s just practice. The more you do it, the better it gets for you.
In movies we see people meditate and they just go “ohhhmmmm” endlessly, yet we sat in complete silence, is “ohmm” just a stereotype and made-up? Ohm is supposed to be the energy escaping the body, it’s not part of every meditation tradition, it depends on which one you practice.So there we have it kids, it all depends, honestly I think I’m okay trying the silent mode for a while, in complete silence.
So we sat there cross-legged and trying to keep our thoughts together for twenty minutes guys! Twenty Minutes! That’s actually a big deal for me because I was able to keep up pretty decently with my breath counts. My mind strayed, it did…a few times, but I would force myself to start counting again. Now, I don’t know about your minds, but my mind is pretty weird and has visual images all the time. Which means even as I counted I still had some imagery playing but I tried really, really, really hard and I was able to bring myself back. Which is a pretty huge deal, let’s clap for me, maybe? No? Okay… Anyways guys, I hope I’ve brought you guys something new to look into perhaps? Or if you are already familiar with this practice then high-five! Well high-five no matter what your stand on this is!
You guys are great, and until next time