A few days ago, I went to a meditation class at vivea, a wellness and yoga studio in Barcelona. Maybe you take a look at the schedule and see “meditation 1 hour” and you’re like “pufffffff… an hour sitting down trying to keep my mind blank”. No way! Erase any preconceived idea that you have about meditation and let me pass you my excitement about it.
I started to meditate when I was 20. At the time, I was looking for something to help me out with anxiety and stress that I suffered during college. I was looking for a way to slow my thoughts down—always with a million tasks in my head. I would go to a meditation class offered at the university. We would meet for 2 hours every week and it was one of my favorite moments: I would learn something new, we would share what we had enjoyed more about each meditation technique that we were introduced to, and we would cheer each other on to have a daily practice. I am going to be very very honest with you, I oscillate a lot when it comes to meditation, and know I need consistency. So, let me share with you how I got inspired once again.
I went to a class with Agustín Vidal. He creates a space to learn, experiment, and share. Agustín explains meditation with words and ideas that are very easy to understand and to then implement in your daily life. There are two concepts he shared (which I am also very fan of): “everything you do with awareness is meditation”, and “smile, smile always”. And it is true, meditation is also to cut and peel potatoes with all your attention on them: observing how the skin comes off, the smell they give when they are freshly cut, and the sound they make when you slice them up.
And… what about smiling? I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but… have you ever smiled at someone that you don’t know in a “non-ideal” situation (e.g. the bus is late because there is lots of traffic)? Most of the times, the other person will smile back, and… there will be a nice shared moment; I’ve tried it several times. Truth be told ;)
And here is the last teaching that I’d like to talk about here today that I learned from Agustín. He talked about 4 concepts: kindness, thankfulness, acceptance, and appreciation; and that they are key in any moment when we might lose our "zen”. Let’s go back to the example about the bus. You can start by asking yourself: “how can show more kindness at this moment?”. Maybe you can then gift someone with a smile. Then, “what can I feel thankful for?”. An example for this could be “how lucky I am that the bus takes me where I need to go, and it usually works well”. Then, you can come to acceptance: “ok, the bus will arrive whenever it does. That’s ok”. And last, maybe you can appreciate that it is a nice sunny day, that there is a little bird flying next to you or that you have a child by your side looking at you with a curious gaze :) I’m sure you’d start feeling much better. If you’d like to read more about these 4 concepts, you can go to Agustín’s blog here (in Spanish).
I’m taking these 4 companions with me everyday, how about you?