Found another consciousness
If I hadn’t come to Aarhus I would have never attended a meditation workshop and found another consciousness. It’s not as dramatic as it might come across; a bit like some people having really vivid dreams at night that they can remember and live out weird scenarios in and some don’t. Either way, you’re fine. But if you could chose, wouldn’t you rather have another playing field in your mind? That’s what I thought.
Leonie Lohwasser, 24, organised the meditation class. “Since years I heard of friends, my grandmother, several health studies and my former math teacher that ‘meditation is the key’. To what? To break the circling thougts, to be and stay happy… I had to find out. I was feeling stressed and hoped to change this with meditation.”
That’s how Australian Meditation Convert Edward Mark Vero ended up reciting Sanscrit holy words tumbling from lips embedded in his apricot beard in front of a makeshift altar in her living room. She invited him to Aarhus from Berlin to teach a four day crash course in Meditation Minimalism. For a fee of 1200 DDK (roughly £130), six others joined in.
The course started with a short ceremony but the meditation procedure is pure minimalism: sit comfortably with your back supported, relax and think your mantra. Over. and over. again. This must be done for 25 minutes twice a day for best practice.
Leonie says that for her every meditation session is different: “Sometimes it is very strong and deep like going on a roller coaster. Sometimes it is easy and boring. Also it happens that I see nice colours and feel warm and safe.”
I was surprised how enjoyable it was to sit trapped inside your head. Peeling slowly, you strip of the layers that have been built up during your life: your restraints, your feelings, your fears, your failings, your ego. You create a safe zone of relaxation, guided to by your mantra and the strategy to conduct yourself “effortlessly, innocently”. In this meditation state I found I could experience what really means something to me. Which is sometimes nice and sometimes painful. It is also a pleasant feeling to be able to enjoy the stillness when an unimportant notion knocks on your perception doors and you realise you don’t have to open.
What makes it effective for me is that it deals with people on a spiritual level – an emotional level – and does not try to rationalise EVERYTHING. It’s almost at the opposite end of the therapeutic spectrum because it’s about letting go and accepting feelings and thoughts as you would accept your dog pulling the leash for a pee when you’re going for a walk with it. And whenever you feel like your thought has shown itself, instead of blaming your upbringing or drawing pictures of an evil stepfather and go over it over and over, you simply let it go. It’s the happiness model of accepting life without having to deny flaws, but choosing that they don’t matter.
There were times during the workshop when I felt very cynical. It seems an integral part of the meditation culture to leave room for five different metaphors for each concept introduced. I was even annoying at times. But that is another important lesson about your spirit; it seems better experienced beyond words. Anna Naveri, 20, who attended the class to “calm her nervous character ” said after two weeks of practice: ” I am very suspicious wheter it is just another intoxicating thing to keep us away from really confronting our problems or not. But sometimes I feel like I would be more stabile, more happy and more able to enjoy people and conversations in the moment wihout having a terrible hurry to run somewhere to do something else if I meditated more regularly.”
I’m happy I did the workshop with a group of people I more or less know. I’ve realised how different our stress systems are. It’s cool. It’s another factor to look out for in the world. It’s something of an aura dipped more or less in adrenalin.
On the last day we set of Chinese lanterns from the beach by the circus. It’s beautiful to see them soar as colourful blobs in the sky. Further away and they become stars. But the best part is to feel the heat build up and the energy in the ballon as both you and the ballon fill up in anticipation. And then you…