Monday, April 7, 2008

Meditations on meditating

Inspired by The Dhamma Brothers, I thought I'd try instituting my own meditation practice. Not 10 hours a day for 10 days like the prison inmates in the film, but a daily decompressing to calm my mind and soothe my soul. I've been practicing for the last couple of evenings--just a half hour right before bedtime.

I really suck at it.

I hate sucking at things. So much so that I usually avoid things that I'm not any good at. I can't dance, but I can sing. I'm not athletic, but I can (and do!) work out. I can't whistle, do a cartwheel or serve a volleyball over the net--but there are plenty of other things that I'm pretty decent at so who cares? I can live with the fact that I'll probably never master crow/crane pose in yoga class. My half moon and forearm balance are things of beauty--so there! But as laissez faire as I am about lacking in other talents, I am resolved to keep sticking it out with meditation.

So far, I haven't experienced lasting calming benefits. I still jump when my neighbor slams his door--and I still wish horrible things to happen to him as a result. But, I sleep a bit better at night and that's a start. Maybe one of these days I'll be so Zen and zoned out that I won't cringe at the sound of my other neighbor's porn-watching habits seeping through our shared wall. And maybe I'll win the lottery and pigs will fly. But there's always hope, eh?

I meditate for about 35 minutes--and believe me, that's an excruciating amount of time for me to sit still and keep my constantly racing mind quiet! 35 minutes because that's the length of this CD I play when I "meditate." It's called Music for Balance and it supposedly has "embedded frequencies" to balance the chakras. It's a series of seven instrumental pieces (fairly simple tunes--Mozart and Beethoven have nothing to worry about in the way of competition!) which are associated with each of the seven energy centers in the body. See? I'm even multi-tasking when I meditate! The upside is that playing the music does help me quiet my mind and regulate my breathing. But the downside is once you get one of these simple new age-y melodies in your mind, it's stuck there. The earworms are worse than some insipid commercial jingle! Bing, bong, bing, bong...Bing, bing, bing, BONG!

I sit trying to inhale, exhale, but my nose itches and then my knee itches and I'm squirming on the lumpy cushion. Inhale, exhale, slump, sit up STRAIGHT! That was the fourth song, right? Only three more to go! Or was it only the third song? Remember to check Patrick's bank balance tomorrow to make sure the Visa payment doesn't bounce...that happens on Tuesday...also on Tuesday, I need to stop by Dr. Sudarsky's office and pick up some more cream...I should go after yoga's Ursula's last class...hope that Jessa takes it over...when I see Steph in class I have to ask her about the screening--Aaaaarrrggghhhh!!! Inhale, exhale...inhale, exhale...

I'm so bad at this, but I'll keep trying.

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