I am not what you would call a spiritual person. Rarely have I turned to some sort of higher being for guidance, acceptance, love, etc. I’m pretty cynical and also skeptical about religion in general, which is why it may come as a surprise to learn about one of my latest guilty pleasures.
When I was abroad almost a year ago (I cannot believe time has gone by that fast), my roommate told me about these itunes podcasts she started downloading to help her sleep better. The streets of Buenos Aires don’t exactly provide the most soothing of background noise. I didn’t really have any trouble sleeping, but I thought I’d check out what she was raving about.
Let me introduce the wonder that is the Meditation Oasis podcast (just search for it on itunes).
All it took was one night of listening and I was hooked. Before then, I never listened to music, TV, or anything else while falling asleep. I actually found excess noise to be distracting when trying to get to bed. But something about this woman’s voice was addicting. It wasn’t creepy or preachy or plain bizarre. It was just as if she were speaking directly to me (not in a god-like way–just more of a conversational way). I could not go to sleep without listening to one of the podcasts. I didn’t even matter which one (she has meditations about “body awareness”, discovering love, and finding your “inner child”, etc.), I was less interested in the content and more so in the soothing quality of her voice.
Here’s the thing though. After listening to these podcasts for the past eight months or so, I couldn’t help but listen to some of what she was saying. All of a sudden, I noticed myself breathing deeply, feeling the weight of my body, and all that other spiritual stuff. Was I actually meditating? It’s hard to say: Did I just happen to have an especially good night’s sleep, or did I discover my inner body-love child? Either way, I’m still hooked.
It’s probably a little weird that I listen to these podcasts without knowing the first thing about meditation. Part of me feels like the Meditation Oasis woman would be angry with me if she knew I was using her meditation lessons as my own version of Ambien. But there’s no way I’m giving it up. I swear, these podcasts will change your life–or at least the part you spend in bed. Plus, I do feel a little more zen these days.