So the days leading up to this past Sunday’s meditation were rather nerve racking for me.  I was being pulled from two directions.  If less people showed up there would in a way be less pressure on me to lead.  I mean if no one showed up then I can just sit there calmly in silence by myself.  But then there was a big part of me that would feel devastated that no one would want to show up.

In the purist sense if I’m leading a meditation then it’s about me meditating and being in the moment whatever the environment.  It’s all about being. So if one person shows up then it’s about being in the energy of this one person and in a way customizing the meditation to that one person.  If thirty people show up then its about sensing the energy of thirty people and carefully moving the meditation so that everyone can best follow.  All the while including myself.

But in the past few days I have not been that “purist”.  I’ve been more that insecure person hurt if I perceived “no one likes me” or scared if too many people “like me a lot and now expect much from me”.  But I guess the fear of being liked to much is just that you can’t believe people would like you for just who you are as opposed to some amazing feat or mood you established in some fortunate coincidence that will never be repeated.  The fear is that you can now only disappoint people and they will quickly lose interest and “run away” from you.

So when I did my first Self Love Meditation back in January those who attended raved about their experiences.  The setting was intimate and the emotions were high during that meditation.  Those who attended then spread the word to others who couldn’t make it and then I got messages mentioning regret they didn’t make it and that they wanted to know when I would host another meditation because they definitely wanted to make it.  Some were even asking if I had a recording of my meditation and I did.  Some mentioned I should create my own workshop of meditations and if I did they’d be eager to attend.  So here’s the downside of this, my self-esteem really rose, I tried to keep my expectations at bay, but in the end it’s so hard not to let your ego creep out of the bag just a little.

Within days after my January Self Love meditation I got an invitation from the author of Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul to host a meditation for him.  That was the one I just did yesterday, Sunday.  Riding on this wave of enthusiasm I hosted yet another meditation on February, a Fear Meditation.  I was more nervous then ever at the Fear meditation but overall it went well. But at the Fear meditation I started to feel my first pangs of insecurity.  Because many of those who raved about the January Self Love mediation, somehow seemed to cool off and were all somehow too busy to attend my meditation.  So then I even contacted some of those who didn’t show up for my February meditation and they all mentioned that they were too tired, anxious or busy to make it.  I started to wonder maybe the idea of a Fear Meditation scared people away, or maybe everyone was only interested in experiencing the Self Love Meditation.

So when the notice went out that I was hosting yet another Meditation, I started to feel the shock of dead silence.  No one responded.  There was zero interest in attending my Self Love Meditation.  Even the sponsor of the mediation group couldn’t make it (was busy with work).  And it seemed that once the sponsor couldn’t make it all the interest died in my Self Love Meditation.  But everyone seemed to rave about the Self Love Meditation. So either that was some fluke because of the state of mind of the people, or I did something to piss everyone off so they specifically want me to fail and just go away. And a few days prior to my meditation another person was hosting a meditation.  That person seemed to downplay any expectations on his meditation, but somehow he got very good attendance, in fact from all the people who ignored my meditation.

There was one small spark though.  A new member who had never met me before signed up for my Self Love Meditation.  So on Friday morning, the day before my meditation, there was one person from the hosting meditation group interested in attending my meditation.  The author of the Chicken Soup book informed me he was bringing some 8 guests along with him.  I had asked my brother to come with one guest.  So without the meditation group we had a sizeable quorum, but it still bothered me why there was so particularly weak interest in my meditation.  But I was glad to have that one person from the meditation group attend.  At least he would be eager to attend my meditation, appreciate it, then go home and several hours later decide to hate me and never want to come again to another of my meditations.

But on Friday afternoon I felt the final blow to my wounds.  The sponsor of the meditation group posted a sort of impromptu notice of a new mediation to be hosted the next day Sunday.  He was going to play a recording of meditation he’s done several times before.  This is a meditation I believe you can download for free from the internet. And within minutes that solitary person who was planning on attending my Self Love Meditation pulled out and quickly signed on for listening to that recording of a meditation.  So he’d rather drive to a father off location, and listen to a meditation he could listen to anytime on from the internet instead of driving closer to listen to a live Self Love Meditation that is customized to the moment and can be heard no where else.  Ouch!

So Friday evening and early Saturday I was definitely emotionally challenged.  I really started to doubt myself.  Why the heck was I fooling myself about leading meditations. So what that I’ve spent may 20 years of my live struggling and writing a book on spirituality, leading a few classes on spirituality, and creating a bunch of self healing exercises, in the end it was maybe all baloney. I should just concentrate on the important stuff like working hard, make lots of money, buy lots of material things and toys to hide my misery.  And if that doesn’t work quit my life and disappear to some remote 3rd world.  Ahhh!

Emotionally, I wanted to cancel the meditation.  But I had made a commitment.  So I went there a bit low in energy, but was glad to at least have my wife there.  My brother and his friend showed up.  I showed up at the Brandywine Library room. It was warm, sunny and there were other people and the energy felt better.  I was a couple minutes late to my own meditation!  But there was no rush, so that was good.  I set up a my own wireless microphone system thinking that the acoustics of a large meeting room would be much worse than in our small living room at home, especially because I tend to have a soft quite voice.

So what I can say about this Self Love Meditation is that it is a bit different from the one I lead in January. In some ways I think I’ve improved the technique of it a bit.  The microphone definitely helped a lot. I added a new element.  I know the words I said were different.  And yes once again some people did have tears only more subdued because it was a brighter more public setting.  The meditation was about 15 minutes longer than the first.  I was only expecting 30 minutes, the Chicken Soup author had told people it would be 45 minutes, and to my surprise it was actually about 45 minutes.  Usually there’s about 10 minutes of silence after I finish with the “after glow” of calmness that you sort of feel.

When I heard the feedback coming to me my self-esteem started to recover … a lot.  I then asked everyone if I could lead yet one more exercise.  This was a mix of a body work exercise and meditation.  I was a mixture of Chakra Toning meditation and a principal I picked up in a Feldenkrais seminar. This one took almost another 30 minutes.  And I think everyone appreciated experiencing this.

Another person who is part of another meditation/yoga group was now asking when is the next time I’m hosting.  This felt good because it was validation from someone whose already got a regular mode meditation now genuinely valuing what I had to offer.

So overall I’m happy.  I’m still digesting these past couple of weeks leading up to the meditation.  I’m not sure when my next mediation will be.

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