I went to a group meditation in Chelsea tonight with two friends and didn’t know what to expect.
The oldest Zendo in the United States is a few blocks from my apartment. I’ve practiced there during open practice before but they are super formal. Like, change into a robe and chant formal. I find it intimidating.
This place was nothing like that. The center is in a creaky loft with a clean floor and muslin curtains. The leader told a story about a muscular thin young yoga instructor who was offered a seat on the subway by an older woman, was sure it was because she looked pregnant, and this sent her into a 3 day depression.
People were invited to share, focusing on how we look for confirmation of stories we tell ourselves. After that, we meditated together for 20 minutes. Most of us chatted informally for a few minutes after the class.
At some point during the meditation, the teacher suggested we count our breath to ten to maintain focus so I started counting in English and got the idea it would be fun to count to ten in as many languages as I could. When I was struggling through the German, I thought that probably wasn’t what he meant so I went back to English.