He explained that there were many different kinds of meditation, but that on this day he was going to lead us through a simple breathing meditation. We moved our chairs apart,and two girls sat on the floor. They were the ones who looked like they’d grown up in anIndian ashram and could levitate at will. The rest of the novices, like me, sat in ourchairs.“Just relax fully” Geoff said, his voice even softer than usual. “Just feel your breathmoving in and out of your lungs. You are feeling relaxed and at peace. As thoughts of thepast or future enter your mind, just gently acknowledge them and release them. You arenot trying to get rid of them or change them. Just let them go.”It seemed to be working. I found myself relaxing deeply. It was all quite peaceful, and I began to drift into a light dreamy state of mind, like I was floating.I was drifting in that quiet emptiness when something came to me. Out of the blurrinessan image forced it’s way up from the deep. It was a man’s face, rustic like a sailor orfarmer. It was the eyes that did it. I – wherever “I” was - looked into them, and as I didthe sheer brilliance of them cut into me like a laser. They were like blue, brilliant ice.The man did not open his mouth, but the words came clearly and gently to me.“Love your fear.”I jerked back into normal consciousness, eyes wide open, springing half out of my chair.My breathing had gone from relaxed and deep to short and shallow, and my heart waspounding against my rib cage. I looked around nervously. All the girls still had their eyesclosed. Only Geoff was looking at me, moustache slightly twitching. I smiled nervously,sat down right away and tried to act like nothing had happened. But I was spooked. Ispent the last ten minutes of the meditation trying like hell to avoid going back into thatquiet space, and resisting the urge to run out of the room.Finally, thankfully it came to an end.“…and now, feeling yourself fully connected with your body, right here and now, open your eyes and return to the room.”I opened my eyes again and looked around. Everyone looked calm, at peace.“So how did everyone find that experience?” Geoff queried.He looked around the group, but I was sure the question was intended for me. I wasfeeling positively paranoid. Maybe meditation wasn’t for me.