Meditation has been around for thousands of years and has long been known to bring huge physical and mental health benefits. Yet, somehow I only just participated (if you can call it that) in my first meditation class.
My cherry popping class of choice was a Crystal Healing class at Unplug Meditation in Santa Monica. The studio has been recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow at Goop, and countless magazines and online blogs in the realm of wellness. It was also the first one that came up on Google that had really nice pictures and a new student unlimited two-week class pack, so I was easily swayed to pick it over some other contenders.
The class was a passive guided meditation, lead by a Reiki healing master, and at the start of it we chose a few crystals to meditate with throughout. At the rise of a hand, the guide came over to you and custom chose places to put your selected crystals. I chose three tumbled stones: amethyst, smoky quartz, and lapis lazuli; they were placed on my forehead (third eye), the hollow of my throat (throat chakra), and on my sternum.
While the whole class was really enjoyable, my favorite parts were the customized crystal placement and the sound bath that accompanied the guided part of the meditation. The music playing was a deep vibration that I could feel at my core and made it easier to maintain my focus. With each deep hum, the energy of the crystals also seemed to permeate my body at the points they rested.
There was a lot going on in the 60-minute class, which is why I think it worked for me. I have an incessantly busy mind, so the voice of the guide, the music, and the energy of the crystals was constantly drawing my attention away from the 100 different thoughts that wanted to be going through my head. When the guide stopped speaking, the music would sound and level out my breathing, which would make me aware of the crystals on my body. The cycle would continue in that order, but would also shuffle around, so I didn’t get the chance to drown it out with my thoughts. It was a constantly new experience.
I don’t think I quite reached enlightenment in that one hour, but I left feeling refreshed and calmed of any worries (for the time being at least). It was enough for me.
In the two weeks following, I went to seven more different classes. Time and time again, my favorite part--the part that calmed and helped me the most--was the music playing or being played throughout the class. Since finishing my unlimited two weeks, however, I haven’t gone back. The classes at that particular studio were $24 a piece, and at my broke college student budget, I just couldn’t justify laying on the floor at $24 an hour, no matter how relaxed or content I felt afterward. I’m passively on the search for cheaper or donation based meditation and have thought about starting my own practice at home. But, in the midst of a busy life and a poor ability to commit to habits, I’ve let the search for more meditation slide.
I think, if I was able to afford unlimited classes, I would be making use of them and loving every peaceful minute. It was definitely a great experience to go, and it helped me learn how much music affects me. I think I’ve also been a little more mindful in my day to day life since attending. I notice my breath, I feel the vibrations of crystals I hold or music I hear, I notice the things that give me a sense of calm. So maybe I have found my low-commitment low-cost way of bringing meditation into my life?