The meditation practice began with thirty minutes of silence, followed by a ten minute break, followed by a thirty minute dharma talk followed by thirty minutes of discussion. Something about those thirties….

Travel time from home, normally ten minutes, also took a full thirty minutes. Traffic was epic and people seemed unusually crazy. I was filled with frustration.

Moments after sitting, the packed room’s temperature increased by at least a hundred thirty degrees.

I walked thirty miles earlier in the day. My whole body hurt. I’d hoped for coffee late afternoon but that never happened. I’d accidentally woken up at 3:30am, long before necessary. I’d gotten off a flight 24 hours previous and was getting on another the next morning. No rest headed my way.

The heat of the room, the ache in my body, the enormous exhaustion, the hum of a fan in the next room, the defining silence……….. hell.meditation

Four minutes in, I opened my eyes, sweat dripping down my face. Nobody else seemed hot, this made me hotter. Ten minutes in, I was certain we were done, I opened them again. I needed to adjust everything, every part of me hurt. My neck now sore from my head bobbing back and forth as I was jolted awake again and again.  My ass was on fire, the nerve pain from sitting in a way my body hates pulsed with the rhythm of my breath.

I saw the facilitator check her phone when we had three minutes left. That was the longest three minutes of my life.

I didn’t understand a single message in the dharma talk, I prayed for it all to end. I hated the tone of the talkers voice. The room looked ugly, I felt ugly.

I drove home crabby, irreverent.

Over eating feels so good in the moment, then it sucks so bad for so long. Meditation can suck so bad in the moment, then it’s just amazing and it’s benefits show up again and again.

For me, this is so essential to remember.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“While meditating we are simply seeing what the mind has been doing all along.” – Allan Lokos