Class Discussion: Meditation Reflection

Today in class we practiced self-awareness and reflection through journaling, spending time to write mindfully about our feelings, thoughts, embodied experiences, behaviors, and responses. During this freewriting loop, we even intentionally called to mind challenging (or “negative”) thoughts and experiences, and reflected in writing on the emotions that arose in response to them.

As a class, we then embarked on a shared experiment by doing a guided meditation. For this practice, we used the the Calm App and today’s Daily Calm on “Optimal Anxiety.” I know that this can be an uncomfortable and stretching experience in the best of circumstances, and especially so in class and over Zoom (!). Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open to this experience, and for sharing this meditation practice with me.

As many of your mentioned, this was your first time practicing meditation. The freewriting we did immediately afterwards hopefully was useful for capturing your embodied response to this practice.

Both journalling and meditation are generative conduits of self-awareness, and here will will combine the two. Please share your reflections on your meditation experience in class today by commenting below.

16 thoughts on “Class Discussion: Meditation Reflection”

  1. It was my first time doing a meditation as detailed and instructive as this one in class on Tuesday. I personally enjoyed it and it really helped me to relax in calming myself by forgetting reality for a bit. Although it was just for a few moments, I would say that it can really help when you are feeling very overwhelmed and full of anxiety to the point where you feel like you are going to have a breakdown. I would definitely recommend it to someone else, as well as do it again myself. Thank you professor for this wonderful experience, and I am grateful that you shared it with us because I know for sure that I really needed that.

  2. Being that this was my first time meditating, I did find it a little hard to focus and fully get into it at first. But after reflecting on the meditation, I wrote about feeling at peace and at ease, especially during the part where it was most silent. I found that I was able to calm my thoughts during this time. I was definitely more stressed before the meditation because of the second prompt where we had to recall negative experiences. And I immediately felt the release of that stress afterwards. I have heard of many people applying meditation to their everyday lives because it helps them in some way and makes them more positive. I see myself doing this on my own time because it actually helped me get rid of some of the anxiety and stress I was feeling that day.

  3. Though yesterday wasn’t my first time meditating, I did enjoy the experience. It did feel a little odd because even though nobody was speaking I think acknowledging the presence of others made it slightly awkward to do. When I try meditating when I’m alone I’m usually more comfortable. But I did enjoy it, and I feel like it was a nice aspect of class after dealing with the negative emotions for our classwork, and talking about due assignments, it felt nice to just take a minute to breathe.

  4. I don’t meditate at all so I’m not sure if I was doing something wrong but I was so close to falling asleep. Maybe I was just too tired but once I closed my eyes, I felt beyond sleepy. I believe that there was a point where I was nearly dreaming. I remember constantly yawning and wanting to just lay down. The crazy part about me saying this is the voice I kept hearing was actually what was keeping me awake. It would be complete silence and then I would hear some really loud voice saying something like “ARE YOU RELAXED YET”. Like I said, maybe I was doing it wrong or just maybe it was a little too early for me to be trying to meditate.

  5. In Elementary School I use to meditate before I started my yoga session. I feel that when you are very stressed and overwhelmed meditating helps you relieve those things, it’s basically a stress reliever. Today in class when I was meditating I felt myself falling asleep that usually happens to me I don’t know why but it just does. I think it’s because I’m so relaxed and I’m sitting in a comfortable spot. I enjoyed this meditating session in class because I have many exams coming up and I feel that my body just let go of all of my negative emotions about if I’m going to fail or not. After that I felt so much better. So it was beneficial to me and I feel meditating should be done once a week just so our bodies can let go.

  6. As I said I have meditated before so this was nothing really new to me. I have used that calm app before and there are different modes to different meditations cycles to do. Although I have used the app before as well as meditate , this one was a little different to me. For starters while I was meditating, I felt my eye lids get heavier which has never happened to me before. I thought that was really weird. Another form of mediation is Acupuncture I am guessing because I herd that can also clam you down and I would like to know the difference meaning how you feel doing both of them. But overall I felt refreshed, more focused my head seemed more clear.

  7. I have mediated a few times and I really enjoy it. Centering myself and focusing on my breathing really helps me decrease stress and anxiety. I find it amazing how one you can feel with yourself. It is a freeing and powerful feeling, I really want to get into yoga I hear that it is very good for the mind and body.

  8. Today in class we did meditating again but this time it was a little different. Last time we did meditation it reveled my stress. But this time I had a problem staying still. Finding a comfortable position to sit in was easy but while meditating I slowly felt my body moving in different directions. I was so annoyed because I couldn’t understand why I was moving so much during the meditation process. I felt like my body was tilting left and right, back and forth. Is that suppose to happen? I’m not so sure but it felt weird. Is that how you know your into the meditating? Well if that’s the case I think I was to into it. It felt like someone was pulling my body in slow motion. It was kinda putting me to sleep, I felt like a baby in a crib being put to sleep.

  9. As we started this mediation today, I felt as I was not fully focused and concentrated compared to the last mediation we did in class. I was breathing as I normally would. My mind was half way wondering and half deep in my thoughts. My body physically was not fully relaxed. Half way relaxed and half way tense and I am not sure why that was. I feel as thought our last mediation, I got more out of it. I was more refreshed than I am now. Not sure why it felt different.

  10. This meditation we did today definitely felt different than the one we did last class. Last practice I felt more stressed, but this time I actually felt relaxed. From the beginning I didn’t really have a hard time settling in or relaxing, it’s like it kind of happened instantly, maybe because it’s the end of the week and I’m tired. I also think the weather helped also, I feel as though the gloom and rain added to the relaxing effect for me. I did get lost in my thoughts a few times, because in such a relaxed state your mind kind of goes wherever it wants, but when I did get distracted I would focus on my breath to bring me back. Overall I would say this meditation felt bittersweet. I love the feeling of relaxation that I felt during the practice almost to the point that I wanted to sleep. But knowing that I have to jump back into the busyness of life and can not actually relax now made it such a tease.

  11. I would say that in today’s second meditation in class, it was a lot longer and more detailed than last class’ own. I found myself more relaxed with the first one, when it was my first time doing it. There is a saying “Practice makes perfect,” which means the more you do something, the better you will get at it. Therefore, I think the more you do meditation, the better you get at it in relaxing your mind, body and soul hopefully. But if I am being completely honest with you all, I found it harder to really relax during this second meditation, I could not help in having my mind all over the place thinking about reality. Plus there is also the feeling of almost falling asleep between the silence of the woman’s voice in the audio, and this was a feeling that also felt in last class’ meditation. In my opinion, I think meditation should require more silence than hearing voices on what to really do and think.

  12. Today’s meditation in class used the Daily Calm, from the Calm app, and the focus was “Alleviating Worry.” Personally, even though I have been meditating for years and try to maintain a regular meditation practice, I really struggled with today’s session. As you all know, there were some serious issues in getting the audio to work over Zoom, and though I finally was able to get a workaround (involving three different devices!), my stress levels rose quite a bit and my mind was racing. Though I diligently sat there on my meditation cushion and kept my eyes closed and focused on my breathing, I constantly felt my attention being drawn away, to the memory of that frustrating tech glitch just now, racing backward to other issues that arose this morning, thoughts racing ahead to the rest of the day and all the things that need to be done. I do believe that overall I was able to “alleviate” my worry just a little, to calm down, to slow the breath at times. And I guess I should be grateful for tiny triumphs, that there was this space available during class to have this “reset” of going inward and to try to curb the spiraling of worry. But still, my heart was racing, my breathing uneven, my thoughts jostling for control of the present moment, rattling around incessantly in my brain. Even though I know that this happens at times, that we have to meet ourselves where we are in the moment, I became even more frustrated, upset that I was able to benefit from my meditation practice as I normally do. For me, though, at least today, this makes me want to meditate more, to give myself additional time and space to sit and breathe and calm, as clearly my body needs it right now. I hope that I will be able to find the time to do that later today.

  13. It may sound weird but meditation puts me to sleep. And yes it does alleviates worry and that’s exactly why it puts me in the sleep mood.
    I normally do not mediate but I do like to self-reflect and according to google. self reflection is like the first step into meditation.
    In order to alleviate worry I personally find more practical to talk verbally to someone else.

  14. That meditation was very much more successful than the first. Most likely because this time I wasnt as tired. I believe I was picturing what the voice wanted me to picture and having the thought I was supposed to be having. These thoughts gave me a peace of mind and a positibe attitude towards alot of things. I still don’t believe I will meditate on my own time because I don’t think it’s that important for me but I will not say It doesn’t do anything becuse it definetely does. it’s a way to feel relaxed without going to sleep and not only relaxing your body but relaxing your mind as well which is underappreciated nowadays because it isn’t a common practice. I can see why other people like meditating, it would for sure help people in certain circumstances such as people dealing with pain, stress or discomfort.

  15. My experience was very intense and reached highs and lows. As the session began hearing the voice was different from my normal meditation style. When I closed my eyes and began to hear the voice my body became tense and my cheat started getting tight. As she instructed us to listen to our breathing it relaxed my body partially. I had the feeling I was incased in a cover almost like an infant would be when swaddled. As I listened to my breathing one image did surface in my mind and that image allowed my body to feel lighter. While I didn’t focus on the image rather I watched movement of the image as I started to fade more as if I was a cloud. Unfortunately I fell asleep not noticing. there was no indication I was falling asleep as I usally meditate with music before bed and have no memory of really fall asleep. 

    When I woke up in a startled state I fell out of bed and hit my head on my nightstand corner and walked away with a mind concussion. I know for the future sessions I will be on the floor away from anything seemingly dangerous. I did however laugh when the ER doctor asked what I was doing during the fall.

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