The Yoga Class

“Are you sure you’ve got the recording right?” asked the middle-aged Indian guru.
“Yes, it has been extrapolated from your brainwaves,” replied the neurologist. “I have adjusted the psi element. It’s clearly audible now.”
“Very well then. I’m going to put it on during my next class, and we shall see what happens.”
Meditation. You never know how much the whole world hates you until you try it. And it’s always reserved for the last fifteen minutes of the class. Some people like it. Some people love it. Not me. I find it hard to stand still even for one minute. I’m a dynamic person.
Or so I thought until recently when I realized I was getting overweight. My type of work and my lifestyle didn’t help me stay physically active. Then my cholesterol went up, and my heart began to have bad days. When things got worse, of course, I went to see a doctor and, at his recommendation, ended up here. Well, he didn’t exactly recommend yoga, but this place was by far the most conveniently located: only five minutes of driving, with a large shopping mall nearby. Also, the time of the classes harmonized well with my own work schedule. It wasn’t expensive, either.

I’ve been coming here for more than a month and have to agree: there are some positive results. My waist has shrunk by a couple of inches. I also sleep better. The chest pain is almost gone. Most of the class is not bad, and the Indian guru is a good teacher.
During class, we keep switching among various positions, or asanas (that’s how the yogi call them), maintaining each one for several seconds. This improves blood circulation, stamina, endurance, and flexibility without putting too much stress on a weakened heart like mine. It’s the perfect complement to the daily pills prescribed by the doc. Everything is fine until we get to the seated meditation in padmasana, the lotus position. And now we have just come to that part again.
I can hear the master’s soft voice coming from the front of the class:
“Relax, breathe slowly. Close your eyes and let your mind expand. Let it become one with the Universe, let it understand that you are one with the Universe.”
Stretched in a half-lotus stance, as the full one looks way beyond what my joints could ever accept in matters of torture, I’m trying to follow his advice. I’ve closed my eyes but still can see him in my mind, seated comfortably in a full lotus position in front of the class, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I bet he could even sleep like that.
Then an unusual humming sound fills the room. So that’s what the large speakers brought today were for… Wait, it’s not exactly a humming, it’s more like something rhythmic, something with a slow beat. The master’s voice breaks in again:
“This recording is designed to help you loosen up and reach the alpha state of meditation. Just relax and let it go through your body and mind.”
Relax… That’s easy for YOU! How am I going to relax sitting like this? For me, relaxation is lying on the couch and watching a good movie. Or reading a good book. Well, I’ll keep trying. Not that I’m putting too much hope on it…
Relax. Expand. Be one with the Universe. Be ONE.

A couple of minutes pass. I feel some unusual changes around. The slow rhythm of the sound is pouring inside my brain, distorting space and time. I can feel this room as if it were a part of my body. I can sense the heartbeats of the people who are meditating in here. I can also feel the people and the birds from outside. My senses keep expanding. Soon I can feel the trees and insects.
There is a red ant near the left wall. I can sense its body moving, disoriented, looking for the chemical trail to take it back to its nest. And then it happens. I get somehow inside the ant’s primitive brain. I am myself, and I’m the ant, looking for a way home. A mischievous idea springs immediately into my mind. What about paying a visit to my master in this form?
The whole room has become an extension of my body. This makes the job easy. As the ant, it only takes about two minutes to reach him. I climb onto his clothes and discover a small hole that gives me access to his skin. I climb down on the inside of the fabric, avoiding touching my master directly until I come close to his buttocks. The right side appears to be more accessible. With a powerful bite, I inject all my venom into his body. The master doesn’t move. He feels it would be disgraceful to abandon his meditation in such a demeaning way. Still, the pain is there. In my mind, I can see his face turning red. However, he remains still in the lotus position.
I get out of his clothes and guide the ant away, back to its colony. The beats continue to fill the room, the city, the Universe. I am one with the Universe. I am ONE…
Our class has ended. One by one, the people are leaving.

“Please wait,” says the master looking at me. “I want to have a talk with you.”
He knows what I did, and he knows that I know that he knows. Three minutes later, everybody else has already left. We are alone.
The master glares at me fiercely:
“Don’t ever do that again! You thought it was a good joke, but it’s a dangerous game. You can harm other people. Badly. And you can harm yourself. Do you understand?”
“Yes, master. I’m very sorry…”
The master’s expression changes into something slightly friendlier. He adds:
“Well, you have potential. Come back tomorrow, one hour before class. I’ll teach you a more advanced form of meditation.”

(c) Marian C. Ghilea, 2019


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