30 Day Meditation Challenge: Day 11

Wednesday December 16, 2009:   This is the first time I’ve actually posted the same day as I meditated.  My usual process is to mediate and then record my experience the following day.  The “rule” that I established for the challenge is that I could not wait more than one day to record the experience because I think it becomes harder to recall details the more time passes. Today I decided to meditate as soon as I woke up, thinking my mind might be more empty.  But, since the whole day was ahead of me  I found that as I sat quietly, my mind went to work on a “to do” list for the day.  I decided to indulge my mind for a few minutes (it doesn’t always feel this gung ho and productive and I hate to discourage it!)  But, it became clear that I needed to shift the focus so I began to chant the bija mantras and my mind was pretty easily led from “must find recipe for cinnamon vinaigrette” to the sound of “Lam”.  I felt energy move up my spine and into my throat and head but it did not stay there.  Instead, it settled again in my middle and upper back, radiating out like wings.  The movement of the energy was gentle and steady.  Then, I returned to chanting the mantras and moved the energy back down my spine.  As I reached the root chakra at the base of my spine, the energy flow changed pretty radically.  Now it felt like I had this giant, internal faucet.  And it was like a curious child, who didn’t really know what she was doing, kept twisting the faucet one way and then the other, turning the faucet on and off, on and off, on and off.  It actually had this steady beat – on, off, on, off, on, off- and the energy always felt like water streaming down.  I sat with that for a little while and then concluded the meditation.

People have been asking if I’ve noticed any changes now that I’m more than a week into this daily practice.  It’s hard to say what is directly a result of meditating daily and the process of writing about, and therefore reflecting on, those meditations.   But, I will share this experience.  In the evening, I had a conversation with someone I am very close to but don’t have an opportunity to speak with very often.  We had a long talk and when the call ended, I was in a good mood and began to prepare a meal.  As I worked, I listened to a recent episode of RadioLab called “Numbers” (anyone who doesn’t already listen to this podcast should start, IMMEDIATELY.  But, I digress…).  The final story in the episode was about the relationship between a math teacher and his student and the story was really engaging and very touching and I was adjusting the seasoning in a dressing I was making and listening intently when my mood shifted quite profoundly and I just felt this overwhelming sense of sadness and loss.  Here I am in my warm kitchen, smelling cilantro and tasting sea salt on my tongue and I can see my christmas tree with bright red ribbons and sparkling white lights and yet I’m suddenly overwhelmingly sad.  But, instead of pushing that emotion aside or asking, “Why am I so sad?”, I decided to go and rewind the end of the story and sit in a chair that is right in front of my beautiful, sparkling tree and listen to the ending again and just feel sad -to be really, fully present with this emotion.  And then, after a few minutes, I was able to get up and continue mixing my salad.