I have always been intrigued by being more “present”, I guess maybe one of the reasons I started to meditate was to try and bring a little more of myself into the present. I’ve never thought of myself as the most spontaneous person in the world so following a recent discussion with meditating friends I realised I really wanted to try something derent. Something that totally puts me in a position where I would have to be spontaneous. So I signed up for a Improvisation Acting Class. What’s this got to do with meditation? – all will (hopefully) become clear.
Eight weeks ago when I signed up, I was fine,iff totally fine, best thing I’ll ever do I thought. In fact right up until the day of the first class I was totally fine about it and then… Every excuse in the world came to me, I’m too busy at work, I really don’t want to meet lots of larger than life actors who will scare me to death, Its cold, I’m hungry, I really should meditate for an hour tonight and I won’t have the time to do both. So I sat there frozen with fear and tried to work through it. I had to go, I’d been talking about this for ages, but if I just sit here for 10 more minutes, my chance will be lost and I can go home and sleep. So I decided to practice some baby steps, breaking my fear into smaller manageable tasks. I just packed my bag slowly and left the building, I could still go home but I’ll leave so I still have two options. I then got to the station and decided to walk past to find the acting class, I didn’t have to go in, I could just see where the building was. I found the building and I didn’t have to go to the class, just look and see who was going in. Someone then asked me ‘Are you here for the Improvisation?’ ‘I looked around to see who they were talking to and realised I was the only person within 10 metres, I must have looked very strange peering into this building to see who was inside. ‘Yes’ I said slowly and then before I could do anything she bundled me into a room and there was no more avoidance. I loved the evening found in scary and enjoyable at the same time, I met some great people and learnt that I don’t have to be witty and interesting, I just need to “be where I am”.
“Be where you are” was the class instructors words, don’t try to be witty or interesting, “Be where you are”. On the way home I thought of my meditations and how there were similarities, I sometimes want my meditations to be interesting and enjoyable, but I have to “Be where I am”. I often postpone my meditation to later because i have other things to do and maybe that’s ok because I need to “Be where I am”. But most importantly to me, I realised that the way I got to the meeting needed to be similar to how I repeat my sound, I just need to be with whatever I am feeling and rather than ‘avoid’ (in my story – going home would be like not meditating or concentrating on what I wanted to in the meditation) that I needed to try and just find a way to repeat the sound with myself “being where I am” when I do that I have to do it again, as I moved through the stages of my journey to the class, I realised how paralell this was to my attitude towards repeating the sound, its not a big glorious gesture, its about being were I am in a baby step, a choice to see now and take a step forward, one repetition may not feel like a big step, but maybe its just a bit similar to taking a step towards my class and learning to “be where I am”