I started taking an 8 week Mindfulness Program in September, and I am very pleased to be a part of this Program. It is somewhat intimidating, because at the Orientation meeting and at the first week’s session, we were reminded that we must commit fully to taking this course, we can’t coast through it; some of us might not finish it.
I wasn’t worried, I already was meditating and really was passionate about how this can be helpful. I was surprised therefore to find that I was very resistant to listening to the recorded meditation for the first week.
My attempts at meditating twice a day did not go smoothly: the first session I stopped it after 10 minutes. I didn’t like the speaker’s voice; I couldn’t focus on my body; I was restless. I started thinking about how the recorded meditation could be improved; rather than being aware of my body. The next time, I tried meditating on my back deck in the warm sun. Shanti, my cat, wandered over my belly exploring this new aspect of me. The train whistle I could notice and let go; however, I could not ignore the mosquitoes! They got in a few really good feedings on my legs, making my left leg bounce up and down in an attempt to dislodge them. Safely indoors for my evening session of meditation, I could not concentrate; I’d drift off and then realize with a start that I had missed the whole right leg! Finally I tried experimenting with other body scan recordings and found one that I could settle better with. I also sat up so that I didn’t drift off during the meditation.
The Prickly Ego
At the Second Week’s Group session, I went on at length about all the things that the course leaders could “improve upon” for the next time; anxious to show how valuable my experience as a process improvement specialist would be to the group.
What I forgot to do is to ask myself before I spoke: “Are these words truthful and beneficial to me and to others? Will they bring peace, or will they create problems?” I think now that they were not mindfully spoken, that I could have taken the course leader aside at the end of the session and identified those things that could be improved (If really necessary). By speaking my concerns in front of the group – I was raising the negative energy and perhaps fostering doubts in others about the usefulness of the meditation. I need to lay my Ego aside, and contribute in a positive way to this program – and not worry about being an expert in anything.
I accept this lesson gratefully, it shows me that I can learn a lot about being mindful in my thoughts and words. I am finding that I am becoming more patient every day and smiling a lot more. Sunglasses are strongly advised!