Today has seen the end of my first course at evening class in many a year, and I have to say that I think I’ll miss it. Every Friday for eight weeks Dee and I have gone along for a couple of hours to learn about and to practice Mindful Meditation, and tonight marked the end of the Beginner’s class. It was taught by a bona fide Buddhist monk, and as he said we were getting the real deal!
Most people think it would involve sitting cross legged, chanting, with hands on your knees, thumb and middle finger touching: they couldn’t be more wrong. On the course we learned how to meditate when sitting or walking, though standing and lying down are also “postures” which can be used. You don’t necessarily clear your mind either: if you’re doing noticing meditation you let your mind go and just notice where it goes.
I’ve learned a huge amount from these classes. Not least is that, with regular practice (20 minutes a day), I can sleep soundly and wake refreshed every day. I’m generally calmer, more rational, more chilled out. Being aware of the moment, the now, and knowing that at that point in time that’s all there is, is liberating and refreshing.
I’d go as far as to say it’s been a life changing experience, and we will both be doing our best to continue the practice. At some point we will definitely do the Advanced course, but that takes 6 months and requires sitting still for 4 hours at a time, so we’ll need to work up to that.