My landlady (aka housemate aka hostmom) works for a Meditation Center in SF, which means she’s closely connected to the whole meditation culture. Now, being a good housemate trying to build common interests, I did not turn her down when she offered me meditation sessions. Awesome, I thought. I had always been curious on how to meditate and how to acquire a sort of calm mindset that can help you in so many everyday situations. Little did I know, that it is so much harder than it sounded:
05:36 am: My alarm clock rings. Since my meditation instructor (aka landlady aka housemate aka hostmom) has to go to work early every day, this is the time we wake up for our 20-minute session. I lie in bed and my slowly awakening mind is playing the blame game: “It is YOUR fault, that we are in this mess Ari, because of you we have to get up before dawn to go sit on a floor!!” “Actually, it’s a cushion, not the floor“, I correct my tired mind.
05:39 am: I walk downstairs. My other housemate, who also got talked into trying the whole meditation thing, is already there. Sitting in the dark. Since we aren’t supposed to talk before or after the session, I don’t ask her about the darkness thing but just go and switch the light on. I see hectic hand gestures in my peripheral view suggesting that something is wrong. “No light!“, she whispers, trying to surpress a laugh attack. It’s just too absurd of a picture that we paint of ourselves here.
05:40 am: The little bell rings and meditation begins. From now until 6am, it’s just about me and my breathing, I’m supposed to push all thoughts away and just focus on my natural breathing flow. But also, I am sitting in the living room on a cushion in my PJs in the dark. Meditating. If my friends could see me, they would drag me home without further ado. Oh, but I’m not supposed to think about that, I should breathe now!
05: 42 am: Don’t laugh Ari, don’t laugh!! Deep breath!
05: 44 am: Oooooh my god!! Imagine I had to burp right now. That would be soooo awkwaar…no. don’t laugh!! Think of something sad like dead puppies or your mom…uh, good one, go me, sad that noone could hear it cause I’m thinking TO MYSELF!
05: 47 am: Ok, this is awkward- my leg is falling asleep!
05: 48 am: Like, really. It’s falling asleep.
05: 49 am: Maybe if I just wiggle my toes…?
05: 51 am: Ok, what could the worst possible damage be that I am doing to my leg right now…?
05: 52 am: Hmmm, I wonder what I should wear today. Also, should I go back to bed? I’m kinda really awake right now. In fact, I feel like my thoughts just got an espresso jump start. Too bad, I’m not supposed to thinkkkk…
05: 55 am: I could totally try this new hair style I found on youtube! Shouldn’t be too har…ok, STOP AND BREATHE!
05: 58 am: Actually, this isn’t too bad. I’m totally getting into my zen right now! I love breathing!!
06: 00 am: Time’s up. Great. Just when I stopped thinking and starting breathing. Of course….
Bottomline: Meditation is hard and requires a great deal of practice. But you also get better each time and after a few days, I didn’t even mind getting up that early anymore (ok, fine, I kinda do on days that I could have slept in until ten) because it’s a great way of slowly starting your day. And I still believe that it’s worth the practice- looking at my landlady, I can clearly see that mediation really helps her be calm and optimistic and real. So, I’m not giving up. If nothing else, I can tell my grand children that I meditated in San Francisco, and that’s kinda something, isn’t it?
Also, I joined my school’s surf club, so let’s see where this is gonna take me 🙂 More coming soooooon!
Peace, Love and Ice-Cream,