Saturday, October 11, 2008

Meditation and Guitar Hero Part 1

A blog I like to read, Unmitigated, introduced me to the concept of mulit-part postings. I enjoyed it on her blog. So, since this post ended up quite long, I'm posting it in parts.

I have had a long term relationship with the voice in my head. I used to think it was me, but after extensive reading I have learned that is not necessarily true. According to many reads, including my latest read, it is “ego.” I’m not sure how Freudian this latest author intended to be. But there it is.

Juxtapose this with my sincere desire to meditate myself into a state of nirvana. Since my late teen years, which means 30+ years ago, I have been fascinated as well as envious of those who can “transcend.”

However, this is what goes on inside my head while I meditate:

Happy place. Check. Deep breath. Check. Happy place. Deep breath. Happy place. Deep breath.

I should type up and copy one of the better student essays on an overhead and have the whole class discuss and point out what is working.

YES! Maybe a list of common errors for their binders.

Suzie’s was great. Maybe Dana’s. Yeah. Hers was not only good, it was quite unique.

Oh shit. There are thoughts in my head.

Happy place. Check. Deep breath. Check. Happy place. Deep breath. Happy place. Deep breath.

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture. I have been blessed cursed with a busy mind. I’m a planner when I’m sitting still. Task orientation takes over. The list of things that I think about while meditating is both endless and exhausting. And that is on a good day. When someone has pissed me off or something is not going right, I ruminate, I relive conversations, I have witty and sarcastic comebacks.

The only way to get away is to GET AWAY. So, instead of meditating, I take long walks. I boogie board. I snorkel. These activities release the preeminence of mind and channel my energy into physicality or nature contemplation. It may not be meditation, but it’s the closest I can get.

Twelve years ago, a friend asked me to go to a meditation workshop with her. It was very cool, very vegan, and the instructor informed us that it is not absolutely necessary to sit cross-legged to meditate. One can lie down. Ahh. We were also given meditation mantras. English versions. I’m not allowed to give them away, but according to this group of meditative instructors, these are actual phrases that have been passed down since the time of Jesus. Someone, somewhere, sometime, tore these meditative practices from the bible for some unscrupulous reason. That’s what they said and I figure it’s plausible if not probable.

So, I lie down, and take the deep breaths and let the phrases attach themselves to my breath. And voila! Not exactly meditation, but, BEST NAP EVER! The instructor told me that was fine. If I fell asleep, that was what my body needed. So, for ten years I practiced meditation by lying down and going to sleep with these invaluable tools.

What?! No Guitar Hero even mentioned? Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2.
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15 comments:

Candid Carrie said...

My mind used to race at breakneck speed. Now I take meds.

;)

Jay Jay said...

I totally understand the racing mind business, it happens to me every night when I try to go to sleep thinking about student, my own children and life in general (also the witty comebacks that I didn't use). I've never tried meditation, but I do enjoy a good nap.

Jayjay

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Carrie and Jay - Yes, there are so many things we can be thinking about at any given moment.

deconstructing jen said...

Between all the tasks I need to do for my kids, the school stuff I have procrastinated on, the new lessons I want to make, tonights dinner, and a million other things I can't get my mind to shut up but excercise helps me so I try to do that. Meditation always leaves me sleepy too. But I'm envious of those that can do it.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

de jen - I wonder if the racing mind and task lists are a side effect of teaching.

Cristin said...

I've tried meditation, not much luck with that.... wine seems to do the trick...

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Wine is the great equalizer of nerves.

Lynn - the piggy bank painter said...

I am not a teacher, but I have the racing mind and everyone knows I make task lists : ) I am not a napper (mind won't stop) and have not tried meditation (no time)...but if one leads to the other, maybe I will give it a try. Love this post. Can"t wait for part 2 : )

Twenty Four At Heart said...

The Torturer tried to teach me meditation to get thru the worst of my post accident pain. I failed miserably.

only a movie said...

I agree that falling asleep is fine and not failure!

I haven't read A New Earth yet (but have read a ton of others like it). Let me know what you think.

thistle said...

ah..meditation...yet another skil i've never managed. Attended a meditation workshop once that was being put on by a local buddhist teaching centre, which went well until he went too far and started yabbering on about reading minds and out of body experiences and time travel...then he lost me...

walking is my meditation...

fabulous post...you write beautifully...

Kristan said...

Towards the end of high school I meditated to cleanse myself of petty teenage thoughts. I actually thought it was pretty successful -- and the lessened stress led to lessened pimples, a nice bonus! -- but for some reason I stopped when I got my first boyfriend. Ironically that's probably when I needed it most...

Smart Mouth Broad said...

First things first: You can boogie board! I'm so jealous. I've never tried to meditate. I'm way too antsy, I'm sure. I have tried yoga. I'm not very good at it. When the instructor said, "Go back to that peace that you awoke with this morning." I laughed and said, "Peace, there was no peace. I awoke and said, Shit, I'm late for yoga!" I haven't been back. I think they are glad.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

SMB HA! you are too funny.

D'Arcy said...

I was just thinking yesterday that I really needed to learn to meditate better. I think they should do a study about teachers/racing minds/naps/check lists...because you basically described me.

Breathing--check

now visualize

hey, how did that penguin get in my scene

what does that mean?

I must be weird


My ego is huge

I can't escape it


Breathe.....


Naps are good, it must be what our bodies need.