This morning I taught a corporate meditation class. Out of ten students, two had never tried meditation before. Out of those two, I made one sob.
The meditation started with physical relaxation, then we worked through some manifestation scenarios - finding a bag of cash with his name on it, with a thank you note, from a mystery giver. A mystical woman who offers him three wishes - one easy, one hard but possible, the last something he could never achieve on his own, something impossible. I asked him (them) to imagine the feelings that would come with each of these. At the final one, the impossible wish, he started to cry. It was so sudden, I thought he was laughing at first - I thought maybe it was too ridiculous, too far outside of his comfort zone, and he couldn't help but laugh. I quickly realized he was crying, hard. I put my hand on his back and rubbed gently. We only had a minute or two left for meditation, so I finished the meditation, brought everyone back to their seats (mentally) and namaste-ed to end our session. I pushed my chair back to make room for him to make a beeline for the door, which he did.
To be honest, my first thought was "yay, I helped someone to feel something real!" and, no, I'm not proud of that thought. It wasn't about me - which was my second thought. My third thought was "what do I do now? We're in an office..."
In a yoga studio, a park, a grocery store - anywhere else, I would have been able to handle this. Crying in meditation or yoga is SO normal. But in an office, a BIG one with lots of dynamics and lots of departments full of employees who may not have ever met each other, with it's mysterious politics and rules... I was dumbstruck. I asked if anyone knew him, but they didn't.
He was not crying over a house or a car. He was crying the way we only cry for people. I don't know what was wrong, but it was much bigger than the meditation. And my heart is breaking for him and his mystery sadness.
I want to figure out what I should have done. I think "shoulds" are usually worse than useless, they're often harmful. But if I can figure out how I should have handled that, then next time I'll be prepared. I will do better. I will be able to allow the crying to be a part of the process. I will hopefully be able to make everyone more comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.
The worst part is, I'm afraid I've turned him off of meditation forever.