Last night Levi, a friend of ours, a friend of our friend, and I all went to a Buddhist meditation class at Meditate in Tacoma, a branch of the Olympia Mahayana Buddhist Center. I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

As someone who finds himself very anxious in new social situations, I was terrified about the whole thing, and a little on edge. When we got to the location, inside of the United Way building in Downtown Tacoma, we were immediately met with extremely friendly people. A normal person would have welcomed this friendliness, but it made me want to immediately run the other way. I’m not sure why I am always so standoffish towards new people, but I am. Here these people were, trying to be friendly and welcoming, and I was wondering what the hell was wrong with them.

By the end of the evening I realized that there wasn’t anything wrong with them, but something wrong with me. They taught us about meditation, and how happiness is a state of mind and we can change our minds. And, if happiness is a state of mind, than so is suffering and we can control how we react to situations. That’s what meditation is about, being in control of your mind. Why react negatively to situations when you don’t need to? It isn’t healthy.

Meditating felt calming. Relaxing.

When I started the evening, I thought for sure this was going to be the most ridiculous thing ever. By the end of it, I knew that it wasn’t. I can see the value in being at peace with yourself, and with others around you.

I tried meditating again this morning, and staying positive even though I am not a morning person. I realize now that being a “morning person” is a state of mind, and I can learn to control that.

Meditating this morning did prove difficult, I found it very hard to push out the thoughts of how nasty my morning breath was. Tonight I won’t forget to brush my teeth, so that I will hopefully have better luck tomorrow morning.