Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hey hey hey heeey!

I've been going to meditation classes for about a year now and am now able to experience the odd - or very occasional - moment of 'being in the now.'

Relaxing my body to make it at least loose enough to stop sitting up as rigidly as a fighter pilot on a 'Maximum Collateral Damage' mission has been a huge challenge but I'm getting there. I can now at least focus on my breathing for about four seconds before racing back to thoughts such as "What will they put on TV during the 'off ratings' season when there was already such crap on during the 'ratings' season", and "Remember to let out the chooks, let in the floor sanding guy, take your CV to the interview tomorrow, don't inhale chocolate again and see if you can find out why Mark Holden is considered an expert in anything."

John, the teacher, is as calm and collected as you'd expect a meditator to be, but somehow he's managed to work in an IT Help Desk environment and manage to keep sane, smiling and out of any murder trials. "If thoughts arise in your mind, just notice them and let them go. Let go of these thoughts and shift from thinking to sensing: return back to your breathing and keep listening to your body."

I've since learned that by 'listening to your body' John does not mean fantasing about introducing a dark 'Kit Kat Chunky' chocolate to Australia's corner shops or a decent decaffeinated iced coffee but to remove all distractions and really check out how your body is reacting.

Despite having a nose I could rent out as a warehouse, thighs about as firm as cling-wrapped cottage cheese and an arse dwarves could seek shelter under, he urges us to see how hard our bodies work, 24/7. "You may rarely notice how your heart never stops beating, your food is digesting and replenishing all parts of your body (mostly the butt in my own particular case) and how it transports you to wherever you need to go."

All flippancies about fatness and flaccidity aside, I noticed that I was finally starting to get it. "Stay still. Stay in the now. Don't feel guilty about not doing anything, you are doing something, something incredibly worthwhile. You are deciding to listen to your body instead of overriding it or ignoring it to push through working longer at the computer, eat crap it doesn't want or stay up later than it requires. Be still, be silent and listen: this is just as important for your body as the most strenuous exercise."

My breathing was steady, strong and refreshing and I could easily watch those pesky and inane musings like "What would happen if I gave one of our chooks a chicken-flavoured rice cracker to eat?" or "Did Joe Dulce earn enough money from 'Shaddup You Face' for life or is he now eking out a living busking outside of Cunninghams' Warehouse" or even "How could I train my dog to weed the garden when I'm at work?" were easy to note, dismiss and ignore.

John continued the exercise. "Imagine a dark red rose bud at your heart, so dark it's nearly black at the edges, lightly covered in dew. It slowly opens and fills you with kindness, acceptance and warmth..." Oooooh yeah John I was feeling it, seeing it, smelling it.

"Picture someone you love right in front of you, someone you admire and treasure..." Easy - there was Love Chunks, looking as self-conscious in my imagination as he would have if he'd actually forced to stand in front of the group as a stripped-off study for life-drawing class. "Feel your light emerge from your chest and fill this person..." Yep, it's all happening, can do, rightyo, this is all good stuff so far....

Not an errant, "Don't forget to write up that article you promised Charlotte tomorrow and keep it serious, not stupid" or "I'll bet my month's wage that Bryce Courtenay has a novel out for Christmas" type of thoughts were entering my now rose-coloured brain and chest.

Then John said, "Now picture someone you dislike, standing in front of you. Fill them with your light of loving kindness......"

Oh. Bugger. "No," I told myself sternly. "You are making amazing progress tonight. Don't let your searing, boiling hatred that's stronger than the heat blasted from one thousand new suns distract you from the forgiving and letting-go nature of this exercise. Move on from this unproductive anger and distress - Share your rose light."

I bloody shared it all right. My rose light instantly changed from a misty, free-range cloud into a sharp column of red-hot rays, not unlike a light sabre. She got it full-on in the chest before toppling face-down in agony, body spasming like a horizontal Peter Garrett as she writhed and foamed her way to a painful death. My breathing sounded strangely "Mooorfth Moooorfth" like a certain bloke with a fondness for black and building Death Stars.

I was at peace with the world.


davey said...

I tend to find that listening to my body is unavoidable -- particularly on those gassy days.

Am I right in assuming that Head Honcho is the recipient of your negative mind blasting?

lc said...

Meditation is good; but humour and laughter is definitely as good for the soul. Very funny.

Milly Moo said...

Yep, Head Honcho is indeed the recipient.... I guess it's better than spraying her office carpet with water, sprinkling it with mung bean seeds and closing the door for the weekend.....

River said...

I left a comment yesterday but cyberspace sucked it into the void.
Can I remember what I said?
Keep meditating, perhaps your subconscious will bring you a way to deal with the Head Honcho that doesn't involve wet carpet, cos we all know how hard it is to get rid of the mildew smell.

ashleigh said...

Sprinkling the carpet with water and planting mung bean seeds reminds me of the pranks we used to play at a former place of employment.

After his project was axed, somebody went on 2 weeks leave. So while away they covered his desk with plastic and soil, planted a tombstone in it, and surrounded it with grass seeds. Regular watering and heat lamps ensured maximum growth.

He came back to an office with 2 inch grass growing in it, the tombstone, and some decorative flowers and other pictures painted on the walls.

He opened the door, looked in, said "oh bloody hell", and then sat in the corridor looking at it for about 1/2 and hour. A sight to behond!

This must have been in about 1984, such things would never be tolerated now.

Anonymous said...

milly moo, blowing up the HH in your head is the way to go, spraying the water ploy is not bad either.
ashleigh, what has that poor guy done to desrved that? Hope he wasn't driven to depression or suicide...

redcap said...

Ba ha ha! Snap! My body seems to be constantly replenishing my arse as well! I'm not sure quite why, when it could be happily building me some nice abs or skinny arms, for all the effort it puts in.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, tomato sauce in the letterbox. Though I do like the seeds on a damp carpet. Nearly as good as prawn tails in the curtain turn-ups or lifting the door seal and dropping in ball bearings!

BTW, a quick Google tells me that Joe Dolce actually has a new album out and claims that it's cemented his reputation as one of Australia's premier songwriters. Funny, I thought that role was already taken up by Eric Bogle and the guy from Chisel.

franzy said...

Nice comment on The Age! Even as I was reading, I detected a definite familiarity and there! It was MillyMoo!

Milly Moo said...

Confound you Franzy - you are right! I love Leon Gettler's Management Line blog!

Grimm said...

I am so glad you commented on my blog so I could find yours. I am loving your stuff.

Funny as hell.

Gotta go with Davey on this one, my body loooves to tell me and everyone around me how much it loved that breakfast burrito.