I almost called this Meditation classes The Final Weeks, but I thought that sounded too much like a bad blockbuster movie sequel so I changed my mind. I had some technical issues last week, hence the lack of a post so apologies if you missed me. I attended my last meditation class this Monday, so I thought I would write about my experience over the last two weeks.
The Final two weeks were about being and doing. In the third week we spoke more about how much time we spend thinking about the past or the future and how if we manage to be present, it feels better for us because we spend less time being pulled in different directions by our thoughts.
We also spent more time in actual meditation exercises. One of the things that attending these classes has made me realise is how much easier it seems to stay in meditation when you are doing it as part of a group instead of just on your own. I have found after 4 weeks that some of that stability (not sure if that is the right word, but I mean that I seem to be slightly less easily distracted) that I felt in class has been starting to transfer to my solo practice.
The final week was about trying to transfer as much about meditation practice as possible into our daily lives, this can sound difficult to start with but when our teacher explained it, it seemed a lot less daunting and a lot more helpful. It is easiest to explain in relation to doing something you don’t enjoy. Normally you would spend the entire activity thinking about what you were going to do when it was finally over, which only makes the activity seem a lot worse and take a lot longer. Whereas if you can try and bring yourself in and focus completely on the activity, without thinking about before it or after it, firstly you are taking away a layer of resistance and secondly you will hopefully be able to access a sense of flow which may make the activity pass a lot more quickly. I don’t think this is something that will happen for me immediately but it is definitely something that I am going to be practising.
Our main technique has been Vipassana meditation, which is focusing on the breath and then labeling any other experiences as simply, thinking, feeling/sensation or hearing and then going back to the breath. In this session we tried a new meditation technique which was about having a wider sense of awareness. I really enjoyed trying something new, but wish we had alternated a bit more as I would have liked to get more comfortable with it before the classes ended.
I thought I would find meditating this week very difficult as my head has been very busy with the news about the cuts, but to my surprise if anything I found it easier than usual.
I will definitely be looking out for more classes that I can attend in reality, but in the meantime I will be doing more research into online group meditations to try and maintain some of that benefit that I got from the classes.
I have just watched a really interesting film which mentions using meditation while recovering from a stroke. It’s called my Beautiful Broken Brain and it is very interesting and beautifully realised. If you want to watch it, it has just been added to Netflix.
If you would like more info on the classes I attended that can be found here: http://www.beanddo.co.uk/our-programmes.html#community