Phil: Sunday is my shortest day in terms of turnaround time between home life and work life, so I didn’t have time to find a specific class, per say, to go to. But I did do a full yoga session // https://yogawithadriene.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b387e5263f0a244eb08128a0a&id=266bc772f6&e=07a5c017f5 // and, to boot, I also used the prompt as an excuse to reserve a cushion for a MDNFL meditation scheduled for my day off this Wednesday evening // https://www.mndflmeditation.com // The meditation is a longer session focusing on the heart and compassion. I think I only did it once. I actually haven’t gone to MNDFL since September, so this challenge helped me get back there. I likely would not have booked the session on my own. And, to really drive it home, I googled a random meditation and tried something new before bed, doing a longer meditation on top of the one I do every day via the Headspace app // http://www.headspace.com // So, all in all, a success.
Bruce: This morning I went to a guided meditation in Port Jeff that I’d been to several weeks before. I found them on (https://meditationonlongisland.org). The set up was one short meditation, a talk and then closing with another. I’ve been meditating daily for nearly a month but today I found it particularly hard to find any solace during the meditation. I’d often forget I was even meditating, this morning my head was a turbulent montage of vignettes and imagined scenarios and dialogues. I’d attempt to bring my attention back to my breath, but it would only work so long before my head was a hectic centrifuge of nonsensical stream of consciousness. I think I also may have mildly fallen asleep during the segment, which the teacher/meditation guide said is fine and indicative of what our body needs. The teacher Christine is such a vibrant, amiable woman full of laughs. She said a few golden things including a reminder that we need to stop trying to control circumstances that we can’t. She said some things reflective of stoicism, like external events or actions don’t affect us in actuality, we just react to them. She shared an anecdote of Houdini, an instance when he had to be pulled out of a submerged cage where he was bound by chains. The alarmed crowd pulled the failing, flailing Houdini up, for fear he would drown. Gasping, he said “I couldn’t figure out this lock!” And the organizers replied “we never actually locked it”. The didactic tale shook me, I was deeply impacted by the reminder that our preconceived narratives could blind us so absolutely that it could even override the reality we’re scrambling. I immediately started thinking of how I could tell that story in song form. and just like that those hyperactive neural gears started churning again. The second meditation was maybe a little more “successful” although ideally we are advisedly reminded how self defeating evaluating our meditation “performance” is. It was good to just have some down time and quiet. Our teacher was warm and full of a refreshingly unconventional reservoir of mirth, intermittently doled out in deep laughs and wide smiles framed in well practiced parenthesis. An hour or so in the morning spent in a communal experience of people just trying to wrangle their mental maelstrom and be a bit more at ease was an intrinsic joy in itself. I’ll certainly keep working at finding some sanctuary in meditating even if it’s only on my own.