Five weeks ago, I texted my sister that I am planning to do mindfulness sessions on senses this weekend which will help in strong basics. After I shared the details, she gave a nod that it would be good. She has been my consistent go to person to evaluate an idea before launching.
On Saturday morning, I felt the introductory session on Mindfulness went well. People felt connected. There was active participation. Some of them told me how they attended mindfulness sessions from others too but they could not connect as those sessions lacked life. Since I shared stories from my real life, it felt more engaging and real.
The original idea for the workshop was to send passive prompts everyday where people practise mindfulness on their own. But one of the participants asked for a 5 week every day meditation class. I said, “That is not what my current curriculum includes. It is mostly a no. But I will still think about it.” Then my overthinking mind started screaming at me. “Have you lost your mind to say that you will think about it? Can’t you be assertive and say a no? Have you forgotten what the rules were when you started doing the workshops? You do workshops which are close to your heart and you enjoy spending your free time. You are not exchanging freedom for money. It is foolish to even think about giving a 5 week everyday commitment.” Miserable is an understatement to what I felt in that moment.
Then my inner voice calmly said, “You should do it. You always liked meditation.” I asked other participants if they were okay and then confirmed to this guy on the 5 week commitment.
But then I asked myself, “Who am I to teach meditation? Can I sit still for 30 minutes without any thoughts? Have I opened any chakras? Am I any closer to enlightenment?” Whenever you are choosing a guru for meditation on nothingness, he should be at a much higher level than you are. Because energy flows from higher state to lower state. I consider Sadguru to be a fake because I don’t get good vibes from him. He has not necessarily reached higher energy level yet. An acquaintance with an open third eye chakra confirmed the same. I don’t want to be a fake guru.
My guided imagery sessions have always received very good responses. I can teach guided meditation but not energy meditation or meditation on nothingness. Guided imagery sessions will help in going into a theta state and make changes to the subconscious mind using Neuro Linguistic programming modalities. It will also provide the relaxation they are looking for in daily life and help them overcome the everyday struggles.
Then, when I had to share the news with my husband, I felt it was more of a confession than an announcement . “I am doing a 5 week meditation workshop, everyday from 9:30 PM -10 PM.” Being aware of the way I was feeling, he was supportive. He said “Who knows? You might actually enjoy it!”
After I started the sessions, the journey through the 5 weeks was so humbling, creative, full of gratitude and excitement. I would be lying if I said there were no hurdles. There were days when staying awake beyond 8:30 PM felt impossible. Yet I didn’t cancel the class. Then there were days when I was going through a bad day. Talking to other people or even helping them meditate was a task in itself. I was able to pull myself up just because I have to show up with positive energy.
- Encouragement from the participants
This course had weekend theory followed by 45 minutes guided meditation. On the first day of daily meditation, they said that they liked the guided meditation from the day before. It gave me the confidence to start off on a good note. After every session they told me how they found the experience relaxing and provided constructive feedback on which elements they want less/more (volume, relaxation less/high, imagination time) which helped me design customised sessions.
On the third day, only one of the 4 participants showed up as others had work meetings which they could not cancel. Since it was just one, I asked him if there was something he would like to work on in specific and I can help him with that. He said he is okay with just body awareness too. But then there was one specific thing which came to my mind out of nowhere and we worked on that. I can’t forget the look on his face that day. It was filled with gratitude. Now just his, my heart felt full too that night for being able to spread love. I had a very good sleep going to bed with a satisfied heart.
One day, one of the participants was on a road trip and he stopped by the road to attend the session. Another day, another participant rushed home from the office to make it on time for the session. On a different day, another participant was cursing his boss that he is just lingering around and making him miss his session.
Their dedication and interest meant a lot to me.
Coming up with a different idea, different concept and different script for 30 days was not only challenging but took my creativity to the next level. I was so happy to make it exciting for the participants.
“I do not have any expectations from the meditation classes. So I am liking the new experience every day. Thanks for the positive vibes” – one of the participants shared in personal chat.
It was not just them. It was for me too. A new experience while you are locked at home.
I have social anxiety. I hardly spoke to people in the first 20 years of my life. Even after working on my anxiety it keeps showing up every now and then. This group didn’t make me feel like I needed to perform everyday. They helped me be myself, trusted me with my scripts, made it feel more than a profession. They were comfortable among themselves and helped each other. A strong foundation base for their life long meditation to come.
When I first signed up for this workshop, I told my soul sister about it. She said, “ You will also heal along with them”. I had no clue how. Because I don’t necessarily go into a theta state by actively thinking about a script. But one night in those five weeks, I woke up in the middle of night from a dream where I was doing self hypnosis and felt completely relaxed. I always thought self hypnosis doesn’t work. There I was feeling open to a new idea.
There have been times when I was narrating the script I felt too relaxed and wanted to stay in that relaxation for some more time and didn’t want to end it at all.
7.A new participant after 2 weeks
A participant who found this useful shared her experience with another friend and that friend joined without asking any questions at all. I am glad she enjoyed the meditation sessions.
Before you do something, you need to trust your teacher, the process and the changes. Without the trust of my participants, I am sure they would not have progressed as much as they did. Their trust helped me try different things which I always wanted to do in a group like candle meditation and full moon meditation.
Immediate Impact as reported by participants
1.Improvement in relationships
One of the participants messaged me personally on how she started to look at her relations with a neutral perspective after the meditations. Another participant noticed how the conversations improved with his relations.
On two different days, two different participants reported how their headache vanished with the meditation.
1.Increased sense of awareness
When you start meditating, you will find all the pains in your body which you didn’t know that they existed in the past. That’s exactly what happened with my participants. During the initial days, they often complained why they were experiencing back pain during meditation. It is because you are becoming more aware. This awareness needn’t be just pain. At the end of 4th week, one of the participants said, “I feel lightness in between my eyebrows which was a totally different experience from all other days.” I knew he was making super fast progress and glad to be a catalyst in that change in his life.
After the first day of meditation, one of the participants hurt her leg. I felt doomed. I knew she was resisting the change, but I wasn’t sure what was the right way to convey the same. Because resistance is not a concept many will understand. Every time we want to bring a good change in our life, we sabotage it so that we can feel protected by the certainty of our old situation. I just went ahead and told her the truth. Next day, I informed all others also to be aware of any resistance coming up.
3.Sleep vs Trance
When I first started my own meditation, I thought I was sleeping in the sessions. But later my teacher told me that, if I am waking up before the session ends, I was in a deep trance. If I am sleeping beyond the end of the session, it is sleep. Another way to notice it is that, how sleep deprived are you? I am not someone who can fall asleep in a sitting posture. But in one of my own meditations, I slept. And my teacher was highly disappointed in me. But then I got only 3 hours sleep the night before and could not really help myself.
So I told my participants the same, they are their own judges of sleep and trance. The instructions will still work irrespective of sleep or trance in changing their subconscious mind. It is just that they don’t experience it consciously.
4.The group dilemma
When you are teaching a group, there is always this balance you need to bring to everyone’s attitude and mindset. You will have people who are at both the extremes and on a few days the one end of the spectrum finds it satisfying and on another day the other end of spectrum finds it joyful. I felt self-doubt on a few days on if I was balancing well but having participants who were grateful for the experience and adjusting to the group was such a huge add on experience.
Overall, I call it one of the best things that happened to me in 2021. A special thanks to the one participant who requested for the workshop. I feel more experienced at the end of 30 spontaneous scripts. Now, if you stop me on the road and ask me to help you with a problem, I am sure I can build a script on the go.
If you want to join the next batches of meditation workshops, you can make a request for the same here.