Monday, September 25, 2006

Downtown Meditation

Last night I met a friend at Union Square. I hadn't seen this friend in about eight or nine months. Strangely, she hadn't really changed at all. I mean. At. All.

We ambled over to the Wai Cafe then went to the Downtown Meditation group led by Peter Dobinin. This group practices something called Insight Meditation. Insight meditation, as opposed to say transcendental meditation, focuses on observing the breath, not repeating a mantra or a prayer. Now, there was a time when I was living in Charlottesville, Virginia, that I went to an insight group every week. During the months following my mother's suicide attempt, meditation was the only thing that could quiet all the shit running through my brain. But after we moved to NY, I fell out of the habit and chose to focus on things like yoga. And blogging.

Until last night.

I'd been feeling pretty anxious for a couple of weeks. After my epiphanies at Burning Man I came back all fired up about revamping my life and my work but found myself a little at a loss as to how to actually do that. Sloth set in. Doubt. All my usual demons.

So I emailed this friend and set up a meditation date. But you know? I didn't feel it last night. Even the dharma talk afterwards--usually 30-45 minutes of reflections about buddhism and life, usually my favorite section--didn' really resonate. It coudl be I hit the group on the wrong night. I mean immediately afterwards they held their monthly "Community Meeting" in which they discuss administrative issues of the sangha, or community. But I don't know. I think I'll try a few of the other groups around town before I go back. Like the Dharma Punx group that meets at Lila Yoga on the Lower East Side. Or maybe I can find a Brooklyn group.



Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

It seems like a spirituality group to me, and definitely you have to find one that speaks to you.

I've never been able to meditate. I just can't settle my mind down enough to focus. I know it takes years of practice for some, but I just haven't wanted to stick with it that long. I hope you find something that works. I have seen forms of meditation work very well for others.

1:23 AM  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Ooh dear...Minerva, this is rough.

I would still go back...sometime, unless there was a "bad" feeling, like mindgames or something that turned you off...sometimes we do need to mix it up.

And after feeling doubt it's hard to shake demons sometimes. I feel like I've been ina similar kind of state, after being away from home...when I first got back here I was all gung ho, then some kind of inertia hit...but I would say that I just kind of kept going...and the dull spiderwebs seem to have movied off...

Maybe you need a special trip toa body of water...any water somewhere that strike you as pretty. A little outdoor sublime-ness can shake off doubts and stagnancy sometimes...?

7:40 AM  
Blogger colleenR said...

I did TM for 6 years. Now I do passage meditation (eknath eswaran). I can't seem to do the kind where you focus on your breath. The more I try the more I forget how to breathe and become too self- conscious.

10:47 PM  

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