What in Meditation?!
I awoke to a snore I recognized as my own. My eyes popped open, wide with shame. I had broken one of meditation class’s only rules- don’t fall asleep.
My transgression was audible to all — all being the intimate group of the instructor and two others.
Before the class started, the instructor asked what I’d like to get out of the next 30 minutes.
“Some stress relief would be nice.”
It wasn’t a total lie. It would be nice. But I figured, “I could really use a good nap” wasn’t the appropriate response.
“Would you say you’re stressed?” he asked.
*Cue flashbacks from earlier in the day of me stuffing my face with leftovers, avoiding all responsibilities…
“You could say so.”
I realized I needed this period of meditation. In fact, I would say that every so often, we all do. Even though it did put me to sleep, I thoroughly enjoyed my time meditating. Taking a break from the hectic mess I call my life is always a treat, and using that time to clear my mind is even better.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind:
- Because you are releasing your tight grip on your thoughts, there’s no telling where they will go. I think the goal is to imagine yourself somewhere like a nice meadow or by a waterfall. My imagination ended up in a swamp, watching a musical put on by English-singing frogs, a cappella style. I guess people relax in different ways.
- The longer you meditate, the harder it is to adjust to the real world. If you have important meetings or assignments, I don’t recommend spending more than 5-10 minutes. After the 30 minutes I spent, I remained dazed and confused for a few hours. Was I less stressed? Absolutely. However, my concentration reached an all-time low.
If you’re interested in trying this practice yourself, you can attend one of The Rec’s free meditation classes. Or you could find 5-30 minutes in your busy schedule to take a step back and do it yourself. Just find somewhere to get comfortable, clear your mind, and at least try not to fall asleep. Although, sometimes a nap can be the greatest stress relief.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Jack P.