So Wednesday night I successfully lead my first successful group meditation.  Virginia and I had been going on and off to a meditation group called the “Meditation Cove” that meets mostly in Delaware.  Members of this group typically volunteer to host this meditation at their home, usually playing a recording of a guided meditation.  So we decided to be daring and host a meditation at our place.  I decided to up the anti by hosting myself with my own meditation.  So I was definitely putting myself up for criticism.

Anyway on Wednesday morning Virginia had informed me that all our spots where filled up.  In fact with another person not registered planning to come we were technically overbooked for spots in our meditation.  So it was kind of exciting.  It’s kind of like trying to host your first party and worrying that no one is going to show up and getting RSVPs that it’s going to be packed.  In the end there was one person that got lost trying to get to our place and gave up and two others that were no shows.  However, we still had five other people make it, enough to make it feel like healthy gathering, and very ideal for an intimate meditation.

So Virginia and I dedicated all day in making our Apartment “meditation mood” worthy.  We de-cluttered things, cleaned carpets, cleaned off years of accumulated dust on the lighting fixtures, and more prominently arranged things like crystal rocks, “buddha bowls”, salt lamps, sound system, musics choices, food and drink arrangements, furniture positioning, heating and air filtration all to maximize a clean, calm, and quiet mood.  I think we are pretty happy with the way things looked.  We did ask ourselves wouldn’t it be nice if we could keep things this nice looking all the time.  Because it was nice.

So I was glad to start off my meditation not knowing quite for sure how long to make it.  I’ve never practiced or timed any of my meditations.  Oddly I get more stage fright making a recording of meditation alone versus doing it live in front of people.  So as a tool as used my iPhone to both record my meditation while running a meditation app to help me track my time.  I’d say initially I did get a bit nerved because it seemed my meditation was moving much faster than expected.  For a while it seemed I was on course to complete my entire meditation in less than 15 minutes, which is a  bit short of what most people expect, which is a full hour.  However, while I was doing the meditation two concepts were in my mind. They were:

1) Quality vs Quantity:  I focused on sensing if my meditation was producing quality experience in others and myself versus just filling in the time.

2) It’s OK to just be:  A characteristic of meditation is the ability to do nothing, be silent and just be.  No pressure no expectations, just a confidence to just sit and stare at each other blankly and feel comfortable.

So I allowed myself to pace things more and allowed the others to breath and observe their breath more without directly engaging their ears.  Several hours later Virginia explained there were a couple areas where she felt I was moving thru topics too quickly. So this let me know that perhaps I in a sense to much concentrated quality and needed to dare slow things down, way down to allow everyone to absorb the visualization concepts I was putting forth.  So in this case adding quantity, even filler blank time to absorb would actually increase the quality of the meditation.

My delivery of the meditation I felt was very good, very personal, very genuine, very soft, and very loving.  Towards the end of my “Self Love” meditation I was surprised at people starting to cry.  I knew it was an emotional meditation, but I didn’t realize how much.

And then I reached the somewhat awkward part, the end of the meditation.  So briefly I got very nervous again and started to think of how to lead people out of the meditation back into rising out of the seated position or getting something to eat or drink.  I started to feel a bit paralyzed and so just sat there watching some people with eyes open looking around for a cue and others still with eyes closed.  It was like they were all waiting for me to make the next move to get up or engage them, to tell those with eyes closed to wake up or those with eyes open to continue with the meditative state.  And so I just realized that it seemed natural for everyone to want to stay were they were and so I relaxed on the floor with no intention of getting up and said something like: “I guess you kind of don’t want to get up. I kind of don’t want to leave this place”  And everyone opened up and agreed and settled into the carpet even more.  I felt this major cramp develop in my left foot arch and I just calmly massaged the cramp away while seated on the carpet, staying silent and calm while everyone else was just calm and comfortable just sitting quiet on the carpet. One person whispered “Excellent facilitation” to me.  I then asked what they thought of the meditation and the feedback was “wow”.

One person said I could do a workshop with this meditation.  The discussion moved into how I came up with the meditation.  I mentioned that a good part of the meditation was impromptu based upon the mood I felt in the room.  I then mentioned that I had a few other meditations tucked away in my repetoir and someone commented that I should share more of the “Wilson Series” of meditations.  Virginia was sitting next to the piano and see felt encouraged to share some songs with close connections to self love.  She played and sang “You are Loved” and “February Song” by Josh Groban on the piano.  Two people joined in singing the first song and on the second song one was in tears.

It felt good.  We had made this a special night.  Think of hosting a party and having as your goal making everyone feel good, more loved, included and not left out.  No need to be superficial, our goal is to get you to take off you masks, settle in your old clothes and socks and emote, please do.  Everyone joked they wanted to sleep over. We should have a slumber party.  Somebody should order out for pizza.  Everyone hugged each other warmly before we all parted.

I like this.  Now this is what socializing should be more about.  I will continue to host meditations as the basis of socializing.

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