Adventures in Meditation

I’ve been getting into meditation more … it’s the natural next step in my journey … the voracious quest for Zen Col enlightenment. It started as just the Shavasena at the end of Yoga class but the more I read and the more classes I took, all roads led to meditation as a thing onto itself. Quieting one’s mind is never easy. Plus I’m a self-identifying media junkie/type A overachiever/Irish-Catholic gloom and doom worrier … so silencing the insane incessant voices in my head is a particular challenge – it goes against everything I have been raised to do and be. Consequently in my gut I know it’s what I need, so I keep at it.

Last night I attended a free meditation workshop held at a public school auditorium on the Lower East Side. The turnout was impressive – the whole room was packed with young, interesting attractive people, which told me I am not the only one looking for a bit of Zen in the City. The people running the work shop were your standard fare 1970s hippies. Really out there. At first I thought I was in a Portlandia skit or Christopher Guest film. The two main speakers — both women in their 60s, no makeup, gray hair, soft spoken and dressed in drab attire – had quirky mannerisms that reminded me of the NPR chicks from the SNL Schweddy Balls skit.

Over the course of the 1.5 hour session, they read information off index cards, showed a very odd video, and performed a perfectly bizarre “concert” of song and poetry. There were three meditations woven throughout the program – those were great. Overall, the CONTENT was very good … but the FORM of delivery was lacking. Such is the case with so many spiritual courses and concepts. WEIRD, ODD, SLOW, REMOTE, BORING. If you want to make contact and impact with people in current society you need to approach them in a way that’s native to them. It’s not just what you say, it’s HOW YOUR SAY IT! One of these days the Yoga/New Age world will master this concept and its message will become even more mainstream. Until then I’ll continue to be bemused by many of its advocates!

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