Meditation and mindfulness with an assist from Spoon

Two years ago, I tried to see Spoon at the Showbox. But there was very little planning, so the night involved my friend Lauren and I wandering First Avenue in downtown Seattle, hoping to find someone selling tickets to the sold-out show. We did not find said person, just a lot of other people doing the same thing. We gave up and got drinks at Chez Shea. This year, we were determined not to let that happen again. We bought tickets to Spoon (with incredible openers Micachu & the Shapes and Deerhunter also on tap) months in advance. On Saturday, we finally saw them at the Moore Theatre, and were rewarded with a fantastic, amazing show.

Picture courtesy Nasty Little Man via starpulse.com

I tell you all this long story about Spoon because it ties into the weekly meditation class that is kicking my ass, big-time. I decided during this very loud concert that I would be really present during the show. The goal was to do nothing but listen. I'd been excited about this show for a long time, so it seemed like a great idea. It was, in theory. I was lucky if I lasted 30 seconds before my mind wandered. I'm scared to think what decibel level is required to keep my mind present.

Our homework this week was to be mindful for an hour a day. I was barely keeping up with the two minutes of mindfully brushing my teeth at night, let alone the half hour of daily meditation. I've been trying to stay mindful during my 45-minute morning routine and have succeeded in roughly 15-second spurts. Teacher Rodney Smith also elaborated on identifying and detaching from emotions. For example, instead of taking feelings of loneliness down the rabbit hole and turning it into, "I'm lonely, I'm sad, I'll never meet someone, I'll be alone for the rest of my life," etc. (you know you've been there), he said just feel lonely and then it will go away about 15 seconds later. Everyone has feelings. Feel them, then let go. It sounds so simple, and it is so hard.

During a walking meditation in class, Rodney told us to focus on each step, how our weight shifted, how the carpet felt beneath our feet, how my jeans brushed against my legs to keep us present. He then said: "This is your life, right now." It's been my mantra for the week.


K said...

I've appreciated your posts on being present, N. They came in really handy on vacation. I actually had long spurts where I enjoyed being where I was rather than always thinking about the next stage of the day. Thank you for sharing!

lookrichbitch said...

It took me along time to realize that I should acknowlege those thoughts in my little brain instead of trying not think them. It's so much easier to just file them away, then to try to ignore them because that never works! I don't think I could do it for an hour though. Yikes. Someday?

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