The Teacher Becomes The Student: Personal Challenge, Day 10 (9.26.12)
This morning, while watching the news, I saw a commercial talking about a website called Discover Los Angeles. I thought this would be a great place to find new ideas for my personal challenge. And today, my allergies were still acting up so I thought it would be best if I found something indoors.
So I went to the Discover LA website and clicked on their link to “100 Free Things to Do.” I am a broke teacher who lives paycheck to paycheck (gotta love budget cuts where you are making less money then when you started your job). There were so many interesting ideas but I thought it would be best, in my current state, to check out the “Free Health and Beauty Things to Do.” The last item caught my eye, “Get self-centered,” at the Sahaja Yoga Meditation Center.
Unfortunately the link what is disabled but being the tech savvy photo teacher, I just deleted the last part of the web address and was redirected to the Sahaja Yoga Meditation Center home page.
On the home page, I read the following:
“Sahaja Meditation is a simple yet very powerful technique which brings meaning, balance and gravity into our lives. Everyone can do it! And remember… it’s always free! Your self-realization is your birthright. You should never have to pay for the touch of Divine Love… Sahaja Meditation is a unique method of meditation based on an awakening that can occur within each human being. Through this process an inner transformation takes place by which one becomes moral, united, integrated and balanced. One can actually feel the all pervading divine power as a cool breeze, as described in all religions and spiritual traditions of the world.“
Perfect! I noticed that there were several locations and I found one in San Gabriel that was meeting tonight. I always wondered what it would be like to take an actual meditation class so this was my chance. Plus the description mentioned something about one becoming balanced–that is every Libra’s dream, their mission to find balance.
So I drove down to the San Gabriel Library (a place where I had never been before). The parking lot is small so I had to park on a neighborhood street. When I walked into the library, the teacher in me almost had a heart attack. It was loud and children were chasing each other around the book stacks, no parents in sight. The teenagers at the information desk were busy texting that they didn’t even notice I was standing there, waiting to inquire about the location for the class. I cleared my throat, loudly, and then just asked them about the class. Without even looking up from their phones, in unison, they said, up the stairs. WOW! I was a little concerned about how a group of people would be able to meditate in this Chuck E. Cheese atmosphere.
Thankfully quite a bit of the noise was inaudible once you reached the meeting room. But when I arrive, I was the only person there. I thought that maybe I had the wrong place. This wasn’t what I expected. I had imagined a room with Tibetan prayer flags strewn about and a big Buddhist alter. This was simply . . . a meeting room with off-white walls and industrial gray carpeting.
A few minutes later, the instructor arrived. Again, not what I expected. I think my mind had assumed that a meditation class would be something like the ones run at the monasteries. I was expecting a guru in his robes. Not a man in business attire carrying a Macbook.
A few minutes later, another person arrived. Again, not what I expected. I had dressed the part of what I thought a meditation student should look like. I was in my yoga pants and tank top, wearing my sandals and all of my crystal bracelets. I had my hair up, dangled earrings and my Buddhist necklace. The young woman who came in looked like she had just come from work, or the mall.
As it turns out, we were the only students that evening but that was actually to my benefit. The instructor told me the history and ideals behind Sahaja Meditation. Then he guided us through a Chakra meditation sequence followed by meditation with music and then the conclusion of the meditation process. It wasn’t what I expected but it turned out better than I imagined. I basically had a personalized course with the meditation instructor, once again proving that a teacher is more effective with a smaller class size.
I left there feeling calm and relaxed. I was drama free and happy. I think I will be back next week. Who knows, perhaps my meditation skills will improve, allowing me to ignore my noisy teenagers. This was definitely a good experiment.