I am studying Mindfulness. So I thought I’d go to a Meditation class to supplement my studies.
It was a great experience. I was one of 15 people, men and women, sitting in a semi-circle.
There were carpets and cushions in front of each chair, just in case you wanted to sit in the lotus position. The only one who sat in the lotus position was the chairman of the class.
We were instructed to remove our shoes so we could feel the floor with our feet.
We took some deep breaths and closed our eyes. We sat up straight and put our hands on our knees.
The chairman rang a bell and we started to meditate. The majority of the 15 minute meditation was going to be silent.
But to start off the chairman did some chanting, it got softer and softer until we were in silence.
I said to myself, “Keep calm and peaceful.”
As the minutes passed I felt like I was floating. I was almost in a thought free state when the bell rang to end the session.
It was really relaxing. I felt very loose in my body when I opened my eyes.
Then we had a session and discussion on generating compassion for ourselves and others.
The chairman told us, compassion is a sense of shared suffering combined with the desire to alleviate or reduce our suffering or of another.
We were told, when you look at the other members of the class, who are strangers because this was the first meeting, tell yourself:
“Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in their life.”
“Just like me, this person is trying to avoid or reduce the suffering in their life.”
“Just like me, this person has known sadness and despair in their life.”
“Just like me, this person is seeking to fill their needs.”
This exercise is to recognize what you have in common with others instead of always focusing on differences.
Then ask yourself what could you do to ease their suffering, even in a small way.
Give them a smile or a hug, or a kind word, or maybe just talking about a problem they have.
We also talked about, No-Fixed Self. This is about your identity, we identify with our family, our jobs, our hobbies, whatever.
But we are a changing process.
All our “identities” are “ours” for a short period of time, then they change, or we lose them, or they die.
We ended with another meditation session. When the bell rang and we left, I felt very relaxed.
I got a taste of meditation.
So now, I can incorporate what I’ve learned into my Mindfulness studies.