I had my mantra ceremony with Anandi on Tuesday. With primordial sound meditation, you are given a mantra specific to you, which comes from the day and time you were born.
The mantra has no specific meaning; it is used only for its vibrational quality. You're not supposed to associate it with any meaning, because that will keep your mind at the level of thinking, the conscious level. And the idea of primordial sound meditation is that you go beyond that.
As part of the mantra ceremony, Anandi meditated for a few minutes with me, and after the ceremony I was to go off and meditate on my own for twenty minutes or so.
I've tried meditation several times through my life, but always thought I was missing the point, or just not capable of doing it; I would open my eyes after what seemed like hours, to find I'd only been sitting there for five minutes! I was really surprised after my mantra ceremony, that I ended up meditating for over 30 minutes. It seemed effortless; I didn't feel like I was sitting there tapping my foot, counting off the minutes.
Since then though, not so much. I've struggled to find a time I would be able to meditate during the day, and I've struggled to keep my mind focussed on my mantra. I've also had that thing you get on the bus where you start to fall asleep and your head starts to nod - but with my whole body!
In session 3 of the course, Anandi says that all of this is perfectly normal; that your mind will do anything to avoid being stuck in the here and now. When you stop and think about it, you're often thinking about either the past or the future; it's difficult to keep your mind on the present moment for any length of time.
She also makes the point that meditation is the one thing you can't learn how to do through theory or books; you have to go through this process in order to meditate. You have to learn to quiet your mind in order to be able to meditate, and the only way to do that is to go through the uncomfortable bit at the beginning where you feel like you're just not any good at meditation, because your mind keeps drifting off to what you're having for tea tonight, or "I must remember to get that out of the freezer..."
For me, this is like hitting a wall. I am that person who always leaves everything to the last minute. With everything I've ever done, I've ended up blagging my way through - and I've usually done ok at that. With my OU coursework, for every module I've done I've started off by reading the material... but after the first assignment is out of the way I've ended up just leaving it and leaving it, and then doing the bare minimum in order to get the rest of the assignments written. When I took my Financial Planning Certificate exam, I read most of what I learned on the train on the way up there. I am queen of the blaggers; I cut corners wherever I can. You can't do that with meditation; there are no corners to be cut. The only way is through. And my mind is not best pleased with that! I'm finding it very uncomfortable to have to just sit with it, and constantly bring my mind back to my mantra, time and time (and time, and time, and time) again.
It was interesting to note in the Session 3 webinar that Anandi pointed out - this is what meditation is. You might never experience astral projection or enlightenment or whatever. At one point in the webinar she says, "meditation is mantra, thought, mantra, mantra, gap, thought, mantra." So perhaps while I'm sitting here thinking I'm rubbish at it, the people who've been doing it for years are doing the same thing as me and calling it meditation. Though hopefully, after years and years you have fewer thoughts and more gap.
I'm persevering with it because I feel like, even after only a few days, I'm noticing a difference in myself. I want to pursue that. I've had so much upheaval and mental torture in my life (mostly at my own hand), I feel like it's time I started looking after myself, and this is the way to do it. The beautiful thing about meditation is that it's free. You don't need to have special clothes or a special class or read lots of books or whatever; you just sit down and light a candle. To be honest, the candle is probably optional too.
I've had a pretty bonkers week, mentally. I've had a massive crisis of confidence that's been bothering me all week. I'm wondering if perhaps this isn't like when you start a course of antibiotics and the doctor tells you "it'll get worse before it gets better" - like my mind has to drag everything up in order to tidy it and put it away where it belongs.
The idea with this course I am doing is that it takes 21 days to make a habit, so you commit (or I did, any way) to meditate every day for 21 days, and at the end of that it becomes just something you do. I'm interested to see what will happen over the course of the remaining couple of weeks. If I seem to go a bit (more) mental, please do bear with me!