Seriously — men, women, young, old — it doesn't matter. On day three, I was introduced to my group. A professional-looking guy in his mid-20s, a friendly nurse, and a young, pretty mum who looked like your classic beachside yogi. We spoke each day about our experiences so far, and while we all differed widely, everyone's experience was resoundingly positive. We chatted for about an hour each day, and from the get-go my group members spoke of the 20 minutes speeding past, feeling as though they'd only been meditating for a few minutes. Others, said their hands went numb and they felt their breathing slow right now. Some, reported feeling euphoric straight after, and finding they found it easier to concentrate at work, and were more easily able to read the emotions or intentions of the people they interacted with.
For me, all I experienced on day three was frustration— trust me, I felt every one of those 20 minutes. All my warm-fuzzy feelings from the earlier evening had vanished. Like the first time, started with the mantra, but soon found myself making a mental to-do list, thinking of what to cook for dinner, getting annoyed by the bird tweeting so loudly outside, before mentally chastising myself for not repeating my mantra. What even was my mantra again? Should I interrupt and ask Matt what my mantra is? Surely this has been longer than 20 minutes. Matt has definitely forgotten to tell us the 20 minutes is up. You get the idea, it wasn't particularly zen.
Matt said that having thoughts is actually part of meditation, and I shouldn't expect to be repeating my mantra the entire time: "Don't place any expectations on what meditation should be like. Let yourself have thoughts, it's normal and is how our body is releasing stress through meditation."