June 24, 2013

Meditating, Israeli style

Day 3
Qi Gong this morning. Under a large tree on a grassy lawn, we moved our arms in slow circles and stretched. A kibbutz dog was inspired by us and lay on his back, paws reaching to the sky smack in the middle of our circle.

We left Qi Gong and gathered in the wheat juice grass room. The engine churned, the emerald green juice dripped down and our noses turned up. We were a motley crowd. Many grandparents and one great grandma. There was a Temani grandma who walked around with a big purse on her shoulder as if she were on a shopping trip. Inside, her phone rang non-stop and she brazenly answered it non-stop.

One woman would sip her smoothie then go outside for a smoke. Another guy would walk around with a mysterious sandwich bag filled with an apple and two dates. Boy did heads turn when we all first saw this baggie. He once put it down to get a tea and I almost swiped it.

Many are here to lose weight, learn about a new lifestyle and many are return visitors, one man here for his 12th time. Like in all groups, there is the joker, the know-it-all best of the class and then us slouches. There are kibbutzniks, big city folk and people of all shapes, sizes and colors.

We are the only Anglos save for one other woman, and this is my first experience being surrounded by a group of Israelis for longer than it takes to unload the grocery cart. I am finding this experience slightly fascinating and extremely unnerving.

One prime example of this was the day we arrived for meditation a few minutes late. The whole group sat with their eyes closed. We dared not enter the room, fearful of disturbing the concentration and upsetting the man who was leading the group. So we sat outside only to see a woman burst into the room schlepping a chair behind her as if she were making a furniture delivery. We sat in shock. Five minutes later, two more latecomers arrived.

“They are not going inside,” my husband said.

“Yes,” I assured him. “They are. They are Israelis. Just you watch.”

And yep, they barged into the room and even stepped across people to find a spot.

This was our group. Ma laasot? I cringed as I did the wheat grass shot, then entered the dining room. A set of tall glasses awaited us. This morning the juice was green. Clicking and clacking, we stirred and stirred as if this motion would magically produce something of substance, like an omelette.

Bored of my green drink, I ventured over to the buffet for a sprinkle of cinnamon, a tad of paprika, hoping it my juice may now smack of French Toast or a cinnamon roll.

I stirred and I stirred and no, it still tasted the same. I  liked the taste and was actually feeling kind of, well, full. More seminars on nutrition, a meditation and then another juice were followed by more seminars on nutrition, food addictions and yep, another juice.

We had a musical evening of flutes that transported me to another realm. I was feeling energized, had clarity and felt like unresolved emotions were percolating to the surface. This detox was taking me into new territory. 

I returned to our room excited, then looked at the photo of the day. My friends were mountain biking in the desert. Now this photo really hit me hard. What was I doing here?

Read more: day1, day 2, day 4.

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