I am wholeheartedly opposed to mandatory meditation.
No, it really is a thing.
This has happened to me twice in the last year, with the sudden realization that oh, I guess we’re meditating now? Okay? And there is nothing I can do to stop it (and Jeebus help me if I argue about it).
I tend to regard these instances the same way I do when reciting the Pledge of Alliegiance is called for, or you know, being at a religious person’s dinner table while not sharing the same beliefs. I keep my eyes downcast, I observe the moment respectfully, it’s over, and I move on. There is no need for a discussion afterward. It is generally accepted that should one not share the same beliefs, one remains respectful through non-disruptive silence.
Instead, I am accosted with meditation. I am argued with for my distaste for it. Mandatory meditation? What exactly is “centering” or “relaxing” about that? Yes, I do feeeel I am in the room. Yes, I am aware of my body. I sense my feet rooted in the ground – you know what, it does feel like being a tree, come to think of it! Thanks for asking.
My discomfort with guided breathing exercises, closing my eyes, and imagining a rain forest in a room full of people I don’t know is often seen as me being intolerant (rather than the truth being that I’m patently unprepared and anxious about such a personal activity) or being “uptight” and not “in tune” with myself. People like me, the list-making-coffee-drinking-speedy-walking-non-meditating-non-spiritual are taken as robotic, “type-A”, unemotional, judgmental, reserved, unbending and terminally cynical.
I am finding, much to my chagrin, that many of the people I have met that have explicitly referred to themselves as “heart-centered” are some of the most intolerant, self-righteous, manipulative people I have ever met.
Often, a conversation (one-sided), goes like this:
“So, I don’t think I need to go to therapy anymore because I just feel really grounded lately, you know? I really feeeeeeeel like I had this very you know, really centering conversation with my yoga instructor yesterday. Really feeling my breath and my body, it just connects me. I think we spend a lot of time disconnected from our souls, you know? We really felt through and really explored some of those feelings, and I feel like I’m moving outward, and like, beside my pain. Wow, this yerba mate is really delicious.”
You know, people are going to like what they like. I understand this. I do hope that my ignorance of this lifestyle is not something that could be construed as disapproval or disgust. On the contrary, we probably believe (oh, I’m sorry – feeeeel) many of the same things. My disenchantment comes from the talking points about love and tolerance, all the while dismissing and demonizing others’ opinions as stupid or worse, “unenlightened”.
The ironing is delicious.