I went with a friend to a 'learn how to meditate class' in Williamstown for a bit of fun. I've never tried meditating before but I've always wanted to try it. After paying $14, we were let inside a small room containing sixteen chairs lined up in three rows and a desk with books and pamphlets on meditation. People sat around helping themselves to tea and cookies while waiting for the class to begin.
The instructor, a lady called Michelle, walked in. It feels silly to say but the first word that popped in my head when I saw her was 'calm.' She spoke softly and right away let me know this whole course would be relaxed, with no pressure. You didn't have to do anything you'd be uncomfortable with or feel silly doing. After she explained that, I felt okay doing silly or uncomfortable things.
She started by talking about what we'd be covering in the next one and a half hours and then took us through ten minutes of a calming breathing meditation. It took me a few minutes to clear the clutter in my head but when the time came to open my eyes, I found I was genuinely relaxed. It felt like opening your eyes after a deep and refreshing sleep.
She talked to us about some of the principles of meditation and Buddhist views on happiness and suffering before ending the class with another meditation called 'black and white.' It involved breathing in 'positivity' and breathing out 'negativity.'
At the end of the session I felt happier and calmer than I had coming in and the concepts Michelle presented were really positive. My friend and I walked out giggling because we felt so nice and both agreed we'd come next week.