photo via Insadco Photography/Alamy
Until last night, meditation had only ever put me to sleep. Not the "Oh, how quaint I dozed off for a few minutes" kind of sleep, but rather the "I passed out and missed half the afternoon" kind of sleep. Having dutifully tried and repeatedly failed, I had pretty much decided that meditation was not for me. That is until last night. Last night I watched Oprah's one hour special about a community in Iowa and its leading role in the Transcendental Meditation movement. It was while watching this program that I felt the most unexpected and profound shift in consciousness. It was a shift that could only be described as…incomprehensible rage.
"This is so stupid!!" I heckled. "How could that work!! We're really supposed to believe that just SITTING THERE and doing nothing changes your life. That doesn't make any sense. Why would that work???" John wasn't taking the bait. By now, he has learned that when the Crazy Train leaves the station you don't jump in front of it. You let the wack-a-doo in the living room rant and rave until she tires herself out. But last night, I wasn't tired...
"I'm seriously asking!!" I said, pausing the DVR. "Why would that work??" John sighed. "I don't know, Jen. They are just saying that it works for them. Why are you getting so angry??" "Because…because…" I had no idea why I was so angry. I stared at the screen. It was paused on the calm, smiling couple sharing their experience. The nice couple who only wanted everyone to feel as peaceful as they feel. "Because…well, they're saying you are supposed to mediate 20 minutes a day, twice a day!!! That is ridiculous!! I don't have time for that!!"
John was polite enough not to call my bluff. We both know that I most definitely DO have time for that. I burn that much time organizing my sock drawer or posting cat food commercials on Erin's Facebook page. "Jen, they are not saying you HAVE to do that. They are saying that is what THEY do. Can we watch the rest now, please??"
We watched the rest. And I calmed down. Considerably. Why was I so angry?? Normally I welcome any chance to take a road trip on the path to earthy-crunchy enlightenment. I mean, I once listened to a podcast about eating your own placenta and thought, "Yeah. That makes sense." What about the idea of meditating was causing me to be so obstinate and closed-minded?? Then it hit me. I was resisting meditation because no one could tell me specifically how or why it worked…only that it did. To meditate, I would have to devote time and energy to a practice that held no guarantee of success beyond the word of mouth experience of its practitioners. This must be how people feel when I tell them to quit dairy.
As I had this revelation, Carol, the sweet lady the from the program said something that struck a cord: "It's like jogging. You want to try it for probably a month just to see if it really works for you. If it doesn't, stop doing it. No big deal, right?" A month, huh?? All right, Carol. You win. A month it is. Let's see if this meditation jazz is all it's cracked up to be. At the very least I'll be well rested.
-♥ J :)