When I meditate now, I can go deep.
I can release myself to the practice. That wasn’t always the case. I would say things like, “I just can’t turn off my thoughts,” like that was what made me special. I hear it time and again from other people and I try not to laugh cuz, I too, believed it about myself.
Shaka and I have a group we go to 4 times a year or so where we are led in a guided meditation. It is as much social as it is spiritual. And there’s usually really good wine too.
I have also led some smaller groups in mediation.
I think that meditation can cure a lot of what’s ailing us. And voting blue in the next election…but I digress.
So when Zappy and Roni were headed to the Getty for a record release/group meditation and asked if we wanted to join, I was like OM, Yes!
Lest you think that my years of mediation have made calm my natural state, I am actually quite prone to irritation and freak out. Just ask Shaka.
There is a question that you ask yourself in doing this kind of work: “Do conditions need to be perfect for me to be happy?”
I used to want to say no, but felt that conditions DID need to be perfect.
Now I know better. So even if there is noise, or thoughts or physical issues, I can just release them. Most of the time.
Zappy and Roni had already arrived at the Getty on a beautiful So Cal summer evening and were seated on the lawn with these big pillows that the organizers had handed out. By the time we arrived, all the pillows had all been claimed.
Some ambient music started playing, so we just assumed the meditation had started. We lay down on the lawn and listened to the sounds of the music, Getty patrons and others like us who were there to get their spirituality on. A slight breeze became a little cooler though the sun was still shining in a blue sky with a few clouds.
I closed my eyes. I let the natural waves of sound blend into a rhythm with my breath.
She started talking. She, the woman behind us. She, the woman who decided it was a good time to chat with other blanket owners. She, who was mentioning she was an influencer (I was getting as curious as I was heated). I was proud of myself for letting her sharp tones and jabbery ways sink into the background noise. UNTIL…
She stood over Zappy (whose eyes were shut) with a piping hot coffee (I was as much in love with the smell of her coffee drink as I was pissed at her audacity) and said, “Excuse me. Where did you get those pillow things?” Zappy opened her eyes and told her the Getty passed them out earlier.
“Cool cool cool, so are they like, gone?”
“I would imagine,” Zappy said, friendlier than I would have.
“Cool cool cool, okay so there are like no more?”
She went back to her blanket right behind us.
I was fighting my own demons of impatience and at how conditions don’t need to be perfect for me to be happy. But they could be a lot less rude. We are at a meditation. SHE is at the same meditation. What in Gaia’s name is this madness????
Stewing stewing stewing, I sat up. I tried to relax into breath.
And then, just as I was getting back into a good rhythm, a voice came on the mic.
“Hi, everyone, thank you for coming to my record release. We will begin the GUIDED meditation in a few moments. I would like to thank ____[ambient musician recording we just heard]___ for opening for me today.
I looked at Zappy and Shaka and started laughing. The meditation hadn’t even begun yet.
We were so anxious to relax, we found ourselves in knots at “rudeness” (I still stand by the fact she was rude…but more your average “bother someone while their eyes are shut rude” and not “interrupt a mediation rude”).
The guided meditation was great. Decompression at the Getty. How LA is that?
I don’t think it lasted longer than a half hour. Maybe it did. Time is slippery like that when you breathe into moments. The sun was starting to set and the lovely weather made all of LA shine below us.
After we made our way walking down the hill, we met up on Fairfax for some Ethiopian food at Messob. It was delicious and a perfect way to end the evening.
My take away from the Getty Medi, was a chance to see where I can still improve when pushed into my irritation zone. I have heard that there is a universe between every breath. If that is true, mine went from a universe of anger to a universe of savoring good food with good friends on a very LA night. Breathe in. Breathe out.