Meditation: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Two lessons learned yesterday:

  1. It’s hard to express super-crunkedness about meditation, and
  2. it’s hard to meditate for an hour.

I went to this group meditation thing last night, and holy crap. I’m a novice (again) at meditation, so I’m normally working in, like, 10 minute stints. How about 25 minutes sitting, 10 minutes walking, then 25 more minutes sitting?

Three years ago, I could almost do that.

I knew enough this time to get a chair. I have subpar leg circulation, so sitting cross-legged–even on a cushion with butt elevation–would end in tears and a desire for leg amputation.

I’d like to want to keep my legs, thanks.

So, sitting in a chair. Should be better, should be easy.

Except that the chair was just a smidge too tall in the seat, so my feet weren’t resting easy on the floor. That put pressure on my thighs, which were like, “Um, can you, like, sit any more uncomfortably for us?” (My legs are, like, totally girly girls.)

I was like, “Sure! I could get a cushion and sit on the wooden floor!”

They shut up after that.

And then I was sleepy. I’m working longer hours this week (hourly contractor + MLK day), so I was up about 05:00, and the meditation was at 19:00. Nap time! The problem with accidentally napping while in a chair is that I inevitably end up doing The Jerk. You know what I mean.

Relax… r’lax… re… *snap awake, barely avoiding a snort*

Good thing was that I wasn’t the only one doing it.

Last and–surprisingly–most pressing were my shoulders. A combination of generally lousy posture, old shoulder damage, and a lack of arm rests on the chair meant that by the end of the first 25 minutes, my shoulders were making tracks on separating themselves from my body.

…In about three different directions. Not quite sure how that worked, but it was happening.

The walk made it worse! Hands clasped behind, clasped in front, hanging down by my sides, didn’t matter. I wanted to raise them over my head, but thought that’d be a little too weird even for a meditation group.

The last 35 minutes of meditation were an exercise in pain management: deep breathing, no squirming, using the pain as a focus. I’ve had messed up shoulders for a few years now, but have continued to slack off on shoulder-strengthening work since my broken wrist last summer.

Notice that none of these issues have anything to do with actually meditating? Yeah. Let us not discuss how flighty my thoughts were.

I’m totally going back to the meditation group next week, but I’m not sure how to resolve all of these without moving in with my own desk chair, some caffeine, and my favorite guided meditation MP3.