This is a week overdue but this is my first reflection I wrote for my mindfulness class and my first week of meditation practice. Just a little cheat as well for this blog because I wanted to remember this.
Learning to meditate and doing it every day in the past week has been a challenge. Firstly, it was hard to find a time and place to sit down and meditate without feeling silly or uncomfortable. As well, it was easy to feel lazy and write it off in my agenda, but I really wanted to practice and build familiarity with the practice so I overcame this urge. The first few days were much smoother than the end of the week. I think because it was guided, my meditation practice had a much better anchor for me to come back to and therefore I was much better at focusing for the first few days of the week. However, the first day I did it on my own; I did not use a guided practice and simply tried to implement the things I learned from class or from the community practice by focusing on the noises, then do a body scan, and practice love and kindness at the end. My first independent meditation session, I decided to do it at around 8 pm in the evening by the pool at my apartment building. I sat down in one of the chairs and tried to maintain a comfortable posture. I started with observing the noises. This was the most difficult part because my mind was filled with thoughts and interrupted with unfinished thoughts and emotions such as fear and anxiety. I couldn’t help and created a story for all the noises that I heard. I never realized how loud the city was. There were many sounds of cars driving on the road, cutting through the wind, honks and abrupt brakes. I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, people are still trying to get home and the rush is never-ending”. Then I would build up a story in my head about how someone who is sitting in a car is tired and annoyed of the other cars around them, eager to get home to their room, eat and take a shower, and enjoy the company of their roommates or of a nice reading. This was all biased from what I have seen. When I realized that, I made up more scenarios of other people just trying to go out and have a good time at a pub or restaurant with friends or simply they’re sad about something. All of these different people filled my brain. When I finally was able to bring back some focus to my breath, I couldn’t help but notice the sounds of crickets that lingered around. They seem even louder than the noises of the cars I previously observed. Random sudden noises of door closing and loud thuds also played to my ears and this gave me a bit of fear. I felt that maybe someone was near and might attack me. My comfort level decreased and I almost wanted to get up and end the session. I didn’t. At the end of this first independent session, I felt relieved. First, relieved that it was over and second, relieved that all of the fear and anxiety and anticipation of what could happen was all of my imagination’s doing. The thoughts were just thoughts and none of the things I suspected could happen, happened. I decided not to meditate at the same location and wanted to test out a different place, so the next day I decided to meditate early in the morning when I woke up in the comfort of my bed. It was hard and my sleepiness did not help. I almost instantly feel back asleep. When I scanned my body, it made me feel more aware and the sleepiness started to fade. I tried again in the afternoon while I was on campus and this was a bit better because I was more alert and being outside in the nice breeze really made me feel comfortable. The sounds were much less alerting and quiet and the environment felt much more natural.