As promised in my EPL recap, I was going to further explore my interest in traditional meditation (and I did!). But but where would I start...
Well as luck would have it there's a meditation center near my house. It's located off a side street that's only needed to be taken by locals. It's kind of pushed back of the road and has a sign that's hard to see that reads Georgia Meditation Center with a moniker that reads "Meditation Class every Wednesday 7pm. I've passed that sign at least 20 times and became more and more curious. So I vowed to make a visit.
After a not so vigorous Google search ( with such a broad name the center is quite easy to pull up) I began to dig a little deeper. Upon my research I found that it served as a Buddhist Temple as well. Now full disclosure the ignorance within me had me kind of conflicted but remembering from my own personal readings and an art history class, I recalled that all people and religions were welcome. ( plus there website said so) So research done, I cleared my schedule for Wednesday night and made a date with the Buddha.
Wednesday rolled around and boy I was nervous. I got there early and sat in my car to watch the crowd fall in. I observed people of all ethnicities get to the door, remove their shoes, and enter the building. So at 6:57 , I rushed my Graney off the phone ( an I say rushed loosely because we had talked for an hour and a half ) walked to the door, placed my shoes in the cubby, and entered.
There was an immoderate calm. It was dimly lit, quiet, and smelled of Asian cuisine. I entered the meditation room and everyone was seated. There was an agenda on the screen and we started promptly. We began with stretching, introductions to the circle, a brief background on the practice, and finished with quotes before we began the 40 minutes of guided meditation led by the group leader Bee.
We moved to the meditation floor, one side with chairs; the other with mats that resembled stadium back cushions and a Buddha on the stage ahead, and Bee began to lead us through the process.
She instructed us into in what she called half lotus position and we were meditating! I won't bore you with the details (at least not in this post because it's running long!) but I will say that I did feel my mind move into a calm it hasn't experienced. A silence that is usually interrupted by the continuous chatter of life... You know the stress, the worry, the negative thoughts. Well in that moment it was all gone. Now o wasn't completely able to silence my mind but being able to shut it up for even a few minutes was well worth the experience... And besides my foot falling asleep the experience was great!
After Bee led us out, she gave the newbies opportunities to share there thoughts and we proceeded to the last part Buddhist Phylosophy led by an actual Monk! Now this part was optional but as a first timer I wanted the full experience. The Monk gave his talk in Thai and a member of the circle translated a life lesson on Karma from an economic stand point. Now the talk ran a little long, but it was worth every second as he explained how gaining merit increased your good karma and would reflect in your earrings (similar to the way most preachers do).
Overall, I loved the experience and I plan to return. I have a lot of research to do but I'm excited about the journey! There is so much to understand and share! (And if you made it this far then you'll probably take some interest in what I'm about to say)Which is why I've decided to make this into a series where I'll share more of my experiences and lessons! So stay tuned for more!
So have any of you tried or practice meditation? I'd love to hear your experiences!