It was lovely that we were finally able to begin our discussions. Usually we have to vacate the hall sharply to allow the next users to come in. I think it changed the atmosphere of the main yoga class knowing that we were unhurried.
I was so happy that you all decided to stay. There is no right or wrongs with our discussions, we just go with our feelings.
I was also delighted to hear that a lot of you already have a regular meditation practise in place.
"It is my coping mechanism" said one, "I do 20 minutes every day and it sets me up" commented another. "I count in French" remarked someone else.
I explained what meditation is not, it is not daydreaming, it is not getting carried away with our thoughts and it definitely isn't being asleep. Good meditation is being totally aware and alert but totally unencumbered by what is going on. We acknowledge any thought that arises but bring our awareness back to the present moment and we can do this in the beginning by using various techniques, for example just being aware of our breath, repeating a mantra / affirmation or perhaps using Mala beads.
I brought mine in to show those who perhaps didn't know what they are. They consist of 108 beads, the idea being that as you run them through your hands you repeat your mantra at every bead. I also explained why we don't allow them to touch the index finger. It is believed it is here that we hold our ego and we don't want to enhance that.
One of our members felt that she couldn't escape her own thoughts and that is ok, it takes time and repetitive practise to calm the stormy seas and if you are just starting out then just a few minutes a day observing the breath is an excellent place to start.