"Lean against the wall" she said, "because we’re going to be here a long time. In a moment you’re going to see a Sparkling White Bright Light spiralling around your body, think of it like a plunger – just as you" (she motioned) "pump a block sink to get all the bad stuff out, so this Sparkling White Bright Light is going to enter your body through your nose and remove all that you don’t need."
'Just because I don’t need it, I still might want it' I mused to myself as I adjusted my position, trying to imagine what might be comfortable for the next hour of total stillness. Yes, I attended my first Meditation Class this week. The teacher was a slight, blonde woman with a mid-Atlantic accent. My guess would be Home Counties via California. She seemed nice in an intense, hippy-dippy, oh-so-serious kind of way. But when she told us how long she’d be teaching (nearly 20 years) I realised that she was much, much older than she looked and I am oh-so-impressionable by women who have, somehow, managed to hold back the onslaught of time (my yoga teacher is another) – for these miracles, I will happily do as I’m told.
I closed to eyes and tried to imagine a spirally bright light. Catherine wheels and sparklers, toffee apples and bonfire night at Godswell House with a massive bonfire; fear that there might be hedgehogs inside it (I’d seen it on Blue Peter) and my mother assuring me there was not. How did she know?
"Feel the light moving down through your lungs and all the way into to your body, focus on anything you want to get rid of... anything that made you worried or uncomfortable this week..."
Oh that horrible awkward silence on the bus. Why couldn’t I have sparkled then? I should have been wittier. "L’espirit de escalier" they call in it in France: the spirit of the stairs – all the interesting and amusing retorts that you think of just as your are making your way towards the exit. Damnit. If I’d been wittier I bet he would have called me...
"Now I want you to imagine a golden light and as the Sparkling White Bright Light is released from your body, a Golden Healing Light is going to enter..."
Oh yes, I’d forgotten about the light. Sorry, what colour are we on now? Oh yes, releasing the sparkly stuff... my neck hurts, what about if I move a little. Oops, I opened my eyes... that girl over there looks weird, why is she leaning so far forward like that? She can’t be comfortable – do you think she’s asleep? I wonder if she’ll fall over and crack her head on the floor...
"and the golden light is going to fill your body, like a warm syrup..."
I’m not buying any chocolate on the way home. Some rice and cauliflower and that’s it. No chocolate and no cookies... I really need to eat more vegetables. Did I buy oranges yesterday? If I did, I didn’t eat any of them... again. What?
"You might have strong emotions as a result of this session, you might feel very vulnerable, but accept that people who make you vulnerable are teaching you something about your own strengths and weaknesses and appreciate them for that..."
...and I’m going to do all my Spanish Homework tonight, I’m not going to leave it till tomorrow and I’m going to read through all my verbs and I’m going to switch my phone back into Spanish... oh? Have we finished? Oh right.
"Thank you so much, that was very interesting. Yes, of course I’ll come next week! Thanks again!"
Habitual nomad finding a home. In more than 14 years of haphazard wandering I've visited 28 countries on five continents. I've climbed five volcanoes - they smell awful. I've dived with sharks - they're beautiful. I have never seen a badger. I've lived and worked in Australia, Canada, the US, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and the Philippines. I once spent four months at sea working on a fishing boat. I have successfully bribed a customs official. I can't sing in tune. I have witnessed an animal sacrifice. I have seen a bear shit in the woods. I am a stranger in my own country. I am an atheist. I don’t believe a civilised society should be tolerant of ignorance. I like people who can spell. Dark chocolate makes me weak. Crowds make me nervous. I have principles. I am a Graphic Designer. I am a Yoga Teacher. I am a Dive Instructor. I loiter without intent. I can, quite happily, watch paint dry.
"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." — T. S. Eliot
"Don’t go off sightseeing. The real journey is right here. The great excursion starts from exactly where you are. You are the world. You have everything you need. You are the secret. You are the wide opened. Don’t look for the remedy for your troubles outside yourself. You are the medicine. You are the cure for your own sorrow." — Rumi
"It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth." — Joseph Conrad
"You don't get reformed - you just run out of wind." — Carlito's Way