Hi Hart Beat. How’s your night going? I went back to the Bar Ballet class I went to for the first time since the summer tonight. It literally kicked my ass and I could barely walk home. I think that’s a good thing? Anyway, what I really wanted to talk to you about tonight is something that keeps popping up over and over again for me. Do you meditate, Hart Beat?
I’m sure it’s one of those things like when you buy a car and then start to see it everywhere but I swear that ever since I started meditating about a month ago it’s now everywhere I look. The New York Times is writing articles about it, one of my favorite podcasts is having episodes about it, man, even signs for Headspace are popping up all over the subway. I guess it all started for me when I was growing up and my dad would take 20 minutes a day to meditate. It was always so strange to me and my brother that he would just, seemingly randomly, sit in a corner and close his eyes for what seemed like a sitting nap. When I got into high school he tried to teach me how to become mindful but it didn’t work for me at all. In fact, it gave me more depressive thoughts and anxiety.
If you know me Hart Beat, you know I don’t like to be alone. I get sad when I’m alone. I get sad when it’s too quiet. It’s progressed so much that now, even at the ripe old age of 26 I still can’t fall asleep without listening to anything. Right now I’m going through the David Sedaris library for the hundredth time. It’s a problem. And I love David Sedaris. I also have a hard time working from home when it’s just me in the apartment all day. Pedro will come home and find me sitting on the couch close to tears just looking out the window. No bueno.
This is a long-winded way of saying that last month I thought I’d try something new. Mindfulness is always a buzz word floating around and after November 8th I was really needing some sense of community and peace. So I googled “meditation centers in manhattan” and, to my surprise, one came up that didn’t look half so kooky. The Kadampa Meditation Center is two blocks from my office (win) and is while it’s technically a religious site dedicated to the teachings of Buddhism, the also have daily meditation meetings that I’ve been going to. It’s hard, Hart Beat. I really don’t like sitting in a room in silence with just my thoughts. It’s been a month and I still feel far away from where I know I can be in the practice. Sometimes when I sit down I can’t stop my work to-do list running through my mind.Sometimes I end up thinking about what I imagine who pro meditation Hannah would be. Sometimes I fall asleep. But I’ve kept going and I’ve tried to start my mornings off too with just breathing exercises.
So I wanted to turn to you, Hart Beat. Have you ever tried meditating? Too weird? Not weird enough? Breathing meditation? Transcendental meditation? Running meditation? I want to hear it. And I promise I’ll report back in a week or so with my progress.
Photo from *dapple dapple on flikr.