So the studying, if you will, for meditation class, comes in the actual doing it. The go-in-a-dark-room-be-quiet-sit-your-behind-down-and-close-your-eyes kind. If you don't, there is no judgment from other learners or the teacher (mostly because they don't get to ask how many times you practiced over the course of the week). But the more you sit yourself down, the more your body reaps the rewards.
Judah asked me today if I had Still Class. It took me a moment to figure out what he was talking about. "Oh yes, Still Class! Yes, yes," I replied, almost laughing at his interpretation of -my explanation of- meditation. Leave it to a 3 year old (almost 4) to boil it down to this. But that's precisely what it is: a Still class. I go there so someone who already knows how can guide me to label all of the constant movement of the mind thinking, and focus on my breath.
This sometimes happens more easily than others.
Yesterday when I sat (I set the timer on my phone for 17 minutes), I was not very relaxed. I kept thinking, "Isn't it 17 minutes yet? Maybe the airplane mode means it's not going to sound the alarm, so I should probably check." Luckily, the alarm did go off (a lovely harp sound) and I smiled as I got up off of my cushion.
Tonight was a little easier, although I kept thinking to myself how my mind would rather think than not-think. Not-thinking is sooooo boring. My mind does not want to do it. But after a little while of not-thinking, I began to zone out. As if I were in a sort of twilight, in between awake and asleep (it's possible I did start to doze once or twice in a fully seated position).
I know it is good for me to zone, and to doze. And after reading and hearing lots of stories of people who have been healed by doing different types of meditation, I feel as though this is the best medicine I can give myself in the post-treatment phase of my cancer. I don't want to do drugs, I don't have the energy or the strength for hard core exercise, and I'm very sorry, but I cannot be a vegan. I can come close, but there are lots of foods I just enjoy too much (frozen yogurt, pita chips, rotisserie chicken!, chevre, croissants, to name a few...). So since I no longer have a medical regimen to control my days, or divide my life into 3 week segments, I am treating myself to a more spiritual kind of recovery. The kind that comes from not-doing.
It's amusing because I have always been the type of person who is most satisfied during and after doing. I like to actively pursue plans and efficiently exhaust To Do lists. And now, front and center on my To Do is -Not Do.
There are, of course, other items as well. And these items also pop into my head as I'm not-thinking and not-doing. Like tidying up for the cleaning lady or taking the car for an oil change, making a cd for Judah with some new kid music, pack his lunch, do the laundry... All of that other busy stuff is still there, but so is the one that instructs me to be not-busy.
And I like that.