A lot of people have been trying to tell me to meditate lately. Well, not a lot of people. Specifically, Roseanne, who mentioned it in her advice column in Bust to some lady who was feeling like the world was sucking. Roseanne pointed out that smart human beings believe the world is sucking most of the time, but that maybe meditation might reduce the crushing weight of it.
First a bit of background: I am generally suspicious of anything smacking of the word “spiritual.” The power of positive thinking is to me a load of bull-crap. I’m more Barbara Ehrenreich in my approach to life than The Secret. Meditation reminds me of ALL of these things, but the science-types say it works. And since the weight of the crappiness of the world has been pressing down on me, I thought I’d try it.
A couple of meditation podcasts I downloaded
A book about meditation from the public library
A meditation CD I bought on iTunes
My initial impressions:
There seem to be two easily accessible types of meditation aids. The first are these meditations you can download that are about specific things, like sleep and stress relief. Disturbingly, there is a wide category related to eating less. I just ignored those. The second group of aids are those that are more about teaching you how to meditate and these come in the form of books and CDs.
I start out with the first group:
I thought I would prefer these to the ones that just teach you how to meditate because I do well with tasks, but I hated these mostly because positive thinking and spiritual stuff seeps in, which would get me annoyed, thus ruining the entire purpose of meditation.
I move on to just learning how to meditate:
I like this method better, but find it more challenging. I like how it’s really just about clearing your mind and you don’t have somebody mumbling their perspective on your soul or manner of thinking. You can insert as much spirituality (or in my case, lack of spirituality) as you like. I listened to the CD all the way through and then tried adopting the techniques. I put on some of the most relaxing music I have (Stile Antico’s Music for Compline) and really did zone out. I wouldn’t say I got into a meditative state, but after 20 minutes, I felt more relaxed, and dare I say it, positive?
Will I do it again:
I will, though I can’t promise I’ll stick with it. It takes a lot of focus, which is probably a good thing, but it’s hard to find the time and space.
So, what have our experiences been with meditation?