I came into the room and there were sleeping mats, pillows and blankets everywhere. People were sitting and lying down on the floor. The sight reminded me of a girl guide sleepover, though there wasn’t nearly as much noise.
So I got a mat and a blanket and joined in. I’ve done a lot of different things in Woodbrooke‘s quiet room over the years. Quaker Worship most mornings that I’ve been there, lots of sessions led by tutors, lots of sharing and listening in pairs and small groups, some drawing, a party and some circle dancing, but nothing quite like this.
The guided meditation that followed began in a fairly familiar way with thinking of parts of our bodies and consciously relaxing them, but I soon found myself falling asleep to the sound of the facilitator singing ‘twinkle, twinkle little star’.
When I awoke, another new experience was to follow … but that is the subject for my next post …
It still amazes me how this practice actually sends nearly everybody right off to sleep. Even in a conference centre hall with 400-500 people, when I woke a bit sooner than most, I realised how many of us had slept. Very refreshing it is too.
There are also some simpler relaxation meditations (see The Blooming of the Lotus) that I have found easy to use lying in bed at home when everything has felt a bit too much to cope with.