Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meditating on the Past Weekend

Still a little groggy from a weekend of Qi Gong meditation. Yesterday was worse....very emotional and spacey.

Up at 7 A.M. on Saturday.Got breakfast, fed the dog, said goodbye to my buddy and off I went to Halifax (about 30 minutes from here). The workshop was being held in a massage therapy school and I didn't know what to expect. I also figured I wouldn't know anybody......we live a pretty insular life here on the coast.

Was the first one there. I registered and got a good seat upfront. I know how easily I get distracted with people, what they have on, what they are saying etc. etc. So I was ready for the unknown!
People started to arrive and sure enough I didn't know anybody except for my massage therapist who told me about this workshop. I said hi to him and he asked where my husband was. I told him that he had a bad week with a flu/cold and was not up for this one.
Just as people were filling the chairs and the first session was about to start, a woman came towards me to the empty chair next to me. At first I didn't recognize her. Then I did. She was a teacher with whom I had worked a couple years ago. I liked her then because she was a little 'quirky' and we would talk about things in which we both had an interest. She was there because of her serious migraine issues and was looking for some kind of relief. We had to stop talking because the workshop was about to begin. I was glad she was there.....could relax a little.
Our 'teacher' for the weekend was a young woman who had spent time in Malaysia learning the technique and philosophy of this particular form of meditation. She was a sweetheart!

The main purpose of meditating, she said, was to 'empty out' all the accumulated karma in our minds. That way we were creating more space, uncluttered space, by which to live and enjoy life.... unimpeded by past thoughts (karma) and experiences. I'm not sure what I thought karma was, but this put a different light on it.
This sounded easy......to just empty out the mind. But we were all to realize that it could be a difficult and strenuous task. There were experienced practitioners attending who would help us along the way.

We meditated for half hour intervals in a number of different positions........seated, standing, walking and a variety if continuous, repetitive movements.

We were encouraged to focus on whatever 'point' in our body was touching the ground/floor and to keep our minds on that point for as long as we could. Of course, this varied amongst us. Sometimes I was lucky to focus for a minute or two. Then my mind would wander to lunch time or some other memory or thought. That's OK....it's human to do this. So back to the 'point' I went for a couple more minutes. We did this for two days.
I know what some would ask : Why would you put yourself through this physical and mental exercise? Well, the simple answer is to learn to relax in the PRESENT moment and to not be so preoccupied with the past and the future. This creates 'space' in your mind and it's this 'space' that enables us to cope with the 'suffering' (anger, rage, death, illness, etc.) that life throws our way continually from the day we were born. It's the normal human condition..... ever since we evolved into a 'self-conscious' being.

Dogs do not accumulate garbage in their heads....actually they'd eat it! Animals live in the present all the time. Sometimes I'd love to be a dog.

Not to belabour this........but back to meditating for a second. We were encouraged to be very vocal during our meditating. Let whatever wants to 'come out' that surfaces, come out......be it sounds, words, nonsense words, whatever. Move as much as you feel you must.

Well, I was soon to become quite surprised at the 'releases' we were about to hear and see. Of course, we were to ignore all this and return to our 'point' and focus. I do not mean to sound glib here....it's just that I was astonished at what people had to 'release' AND were not in the least bit embarrassed to do so. I managed to move a bit and sway from side to side but dared not allow a sound to pop out.

At the end of the first day, I felt that I was either totally 'empty' or so plugged up that nothing was able to move out of me! My friend felt the same way.

I have been 'sitting' (meditating) for a number of years now but had not done so using this style. That was why I attended. It was so different from sitting very quietly and being 'still'.

Day two was much the same as day one, but we were encouraged to be more spontaneous and not to judge other people's releases. I moved around a lot more but was quiet. Funny how some people, ME, cannot let go in public. I have to feel very safe before such a display of emotions.

We were told that this coming week may be difficult for some, due to the 'stirring' of feelings and emotions that may have surfaced. Actually, by the end of day two, I felt very invigorated and ready to 'face the world'. I did feel that I had allowed a little, teeny weeny area of space to be created....I felt good!

Monday morning......I was very tired physically and thought I felt quite relaxed. Until my partner said something that hit me the wrong way. That was it!! I melted on the spot! I became very 'down' about everything in my life. I even thought of my Mom who had died three years ago and became very grief-stricken for her.This lasted for about an hour. My poor husband didn't know what hit him. He was very apologetic for 'starting' this whole thing.

When I 'came out of it', I told him it wasn't his fault.....it (the reaction I had) was probably due to a number of emotions that had surfaced over the weekend. I reassured him that I was going to be fine...... I was, but a little tired out nonetheless.
Sounds like a difficult weekend. It wasn't. It was a positive experience with people who were very receptive and in touch with their feelings.....even though some of their antics were hilarious!

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