I’m taking a meditation class this semester. I needed one more unit, and I also need to learn how to chill out more. During the first class I felt so relaxed and was able to let everything go and meditate successfully. But since then I haven’t been able to clear my mind – during the last class I flowed from thought to thought as useless things kept popping into my head.
I wish I could meditate, but my brain’s just too busy thinking about things I need to let go of. When I was little I would tell my dad I was bored trying to fall asleep, and he would always respond, “You’re supposed to be, you’re trying to fall asleep.” In middle school, my mom started sending me to yoga once a week to find a way to relax. My mind would wander the entire class as I did the poses and moved through the stretches. Now I go to yoga three times a week and am able to put aside my thoughts during the class, but my mind always wanders during the last relaxation pose, shavasana.
It wasn’t always like this. Flashback to when I was six and my parents signed me up for Friendship Camp, a day camp run by an aging hippie named Ezra. It was there that I was first introduced to meditation, and because I was six and stress-free, I was able to do it successfully. And I enjoyed it. I remember being able to fully clear my head of all thoughts, to imagine perfect black space, and to block out everything.
What I was able to do at such an uncomplicated age seems remarkable in contrast to how I am now unable to collect one moment of relaxation when I try hardest. Another memory of Friendship Camp foreshadows my future overactive mind and inability to relax: on the last day of camp when they gave out awards, I received a certificate labeling me “Most Likely to Become a Talk Show Host.” Obviously, at the age of six, I was already loud and outspoken and getting ready to live a chaotic life – without meditation to fall back on.