• Solo • One Does Not Simply Meditate

While pursuing a way to defend herself, Maebella is introduced to meditation

The stronghold of education and learning, this fortress, in one of the coldest areas of Idalos, houses many who seek to enhance their knowledge and expertise in any number of disciplines. Unknown to most, however, below the public areas of the city, suffering for the sake of science is common. All are welcomed, though some who arrive are not treated as they might expect.

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• Solo • One Does Not Simply Meditate

Postby Maebella » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:33 pm

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25 Zi'da 717

The previous trial had been stressful. If she hadn't encountered Jevan Cordale, all would have been well. She would have learned new things, done her research and been more than content within herself. Instead, she'd had all manner of doubts about the encounter and what had preceded it. After Caesia had assaulted her and Virikai had highlighted her weakness further, Maebella had known that she must take some action. When she'd struck Jevan the previous trial, there had been some perverse pleasure in it, a grim satisfaction at having control in her hands once more. Despite that, it had been wild and untamed, a fact which frightened her. Thus, she had chosen to do something more constructive, harness this newfound sense of power so she could channel it in more appropriate ways. Ways that would be truly useful when she needed them.

The young woman had never before set foot in the Viden Academy Fitness Centre. Although it was on the campus and affiliated with the Academy, the Eídisi had never had reason to enter it. The idea of actively pursuing some sort of physical peak had never been on her list of priorities, especially as it seemed needlessly time consuming. It wasn't a simple matter but something that required dedication, perhaps just as much as it would take to properly mould the mind. However, it seemed that it had been unwise to neglect her body in that way. She had never allowed herself to be truly unfit but she couldn't do much with her body, not really.

As she entered the campus grounds, she headed to the left, making a beeline for the newer building that had been constructed long after the original teaching facilities; it was only about a hundred arcs old. It was a sizeable two storey building and she'd always wondered why it was so large although it had never been something that she'd allowed herself to dwell on. She knew that there was an archery range outside somewhere towards the rear although she'd never really taken the time to have a good look at it. She could understand why it was necessary for someone to practice such things if they hunted or if they were considering joining the Rangers or something, but she had no idea why someone would learn archery for the sake of it. The pursuit of knowledge was something she could respect but wanting to know how to fire pointy projectiles into things, possibly people? No, that sounded quite vicious.

The Eídisi youth had heard things about various martial arts, notably one called Menochoros, which was supposed to have a great deal of respect for cerebral matters and what was more, she'd heard that it wasn't particularly violent. Thus, she'd come seeking information and the desire to sign up for such a thing. She was already in the Academy, both as a student and employee, so she might as well take advantage of high quality facilities that she had access to for free. In truth, it was almost necessary that she do so because it would be foolish to waste such an opportunity.

Entering the reception, she approached the young man at the desk, eyes flicking briefly over the noticeboard and its neat array of tacked pieces of paper. She explained her desire to the receptionist and he outlined the courses that were available and the cost. It seemed that if she wanted to do this, it was going to be a reasonably long term commitment. Still, it was necessary so she signed up for a series of 10 lessons that would begin the following trial. It was after she'd filled out the relevant paperwork and passed it over to the receptionist that he perked up and made an unexpected suggestion.

"Have you considered taking a meditation class? It's considered a good idea to have a grasp of it when going into Menochoros, a good way to have your mind under control. I happen to know that the instructor is free right now if you want to have a private session," he explained, watching as the young woman's brows raised, lips pursed thoughtfully.

"Meditation? Well, I suppose it is related to the mind, which makes sense and I could probably use it. Y-yes, I'll take it. How much?"

The price he quoted raised an eyebrow but she handed over the sum without comment.


Credit to Rose Greenwood
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Maebella
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One Does Not Simply Meditate

Postby Maebella » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:51 pm

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The Eídisi found herself directed to the basement of the building, taking a door out on one side of the reception, following a very short stretch of corridor before she passed through another door and down a staircase. There was quite a bustle of activity at the end of the new corridor in which she found herself. There were a few doors leading off the corridor, each bearing an name etched into their wood. There were thunking sounds from one room - an indoor archery range - while another held the sounds of voices, movement and grunting, the activity within uncertain as it was simply labelled "Private Session Room." However, the most activity came from the end from a room marked "Washing Facilities". People moved in looking tired and sweaty and those who came out looking fresh and clean. While it drew her curious gaze, it wasn't her destination. Before she reached that end door, she spotted another that bore the title of "Meditation Room" and she approached it with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

The Eídisi knocked against the wood and then turned the latch, entering into the dimly lit room beyond. The air was laden with soft scents carried on thin windings of smoke, candles lit to provide a soft glow. The space was largely open, some narrow cabinets pushed up against the walls, while the floor was strewn with luxurious furs and beautiful woven rugs. In the midst of it all sat a woman, cross-legged who unfolded herself gracefully as Maebella stepped inside.

It was difficult to tell the full detail of the woman's appearance but her skin glowed a coppery hue suggesting a darker hue than many humans she encountered. She was dressed simply in skins, her hair braided atop her head with some sort of band around her forehead. The woman had a great serenity about her, a striking dignity that made the scholar feel oddly at ease in her presence.

"You're the instructor who teaches meditation?" Maebella questioned. "I was told that I could have a lesson now, the receptionist said..."

"Yes, I can instruct you right now. I'm happy to do so. I am Lida'via," the other explained in perfect Common, accented in an interesting way. She couldn't recognise the accent but it interested her. "Have you meditated before?"

"No, I haven't, this is my first time. I'm Maebella by the way," she added. "Your accent, I haven't heard it before. Where are you from?"

"From South Idalos, Desnind. Come and sit," Lida'via murmured, gesturing for the blue-skinned woman to join her on the floor.

"Oh! So you're Sev'ryn?" the student asked curiously, eliciting a smile from the grave teacher. She was pretty and quite young in appearance. She had no idea how old she was but her skin had a youthful appearance, even if her eyes seemed older and more experienced. The youth found herself smiling back.

"Yes, I'm Sev'ryn. You are Eídisi and your people know things. You have a tendency of gathering information. I can't say that I'm surprised that you know what I am," Lida'via commented, crossing her legs under her. "Take off your shoes and settle down. I'll begin by teaching you about posture and breathing. You can meditate by sitting quietly in the right environment and that's a good beginning. In time, you can learn how to meditate while moving but everyone must begin somewhere. So posture, you must keep your back straight, you mustn't allow yourself to become too comfortable and therefore grow sleepy. Bring your hands together but allow them to fall in whatever manner feels comfortable to you."

Maebella complied, slipping off her shoes and attempting to mimic her instructor's manner of leg crossing. She sat up straight and allowed her legs to bend inwards at the knee, her lower legs crossed and her feet touching off the inside of her thighs. She cupped her hands together, holding them loosely above the point where the lower limbs crossed. She ensured that her back was as straight as possible, the Eídisi sitting perfectly erect. It certainly wasn't a comfortable position and she highly doubted that she was at risk of drifting off. Her mind was likely to stay alert this way but she feared that if she stopped focusing on her posture that she would slip into a more comfortable position again.

"Now, you can't expect to meditate for long periods of time, not if you're only undertaking it for the first time. We will begin with a few attempts to enter your waking mind. If you do not succeed to-trial then it is no matter. It is better to set down strong groundwork then to rush and get a certain result through luck," Lida'via explained, rolling her head back and forth on her neck with a soft cracking sound. "Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Focus on the sound and the sensation of it. Focus on each inhale, how you suck air in through your nose, the way your lungs fill and expand until they can inflate no more. Then do the same with each exhale, how your lungs deflate slowly as if from a small puncture, how the air escapes out of your mouth. Focus on all the small actions that go into drawing breath and releasing it," the Sev'ryn told her, her voice measured and soothing.
Credit to Rose Greenwood
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One Does Not Simply Meditate

Postby Maebella » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:11 pm

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Maebella did her best to follow the other's instructions. She tried not to slouch, doing her utmost to keep her back straight but not tense. As she breathed in deeply, she allowed the rigidity of her muscles to ease, tension leaking out gradually. She managed to maintain good posture, finally allowing herself to relax properly as she began to focus on her breathing. It wasn't a matter of simply focusing on the sound of it or the feel of it but allowing her awareness of it all to spread.

Lida'via's voice was soft and lilting, not distracting but instead achieving a pleasant harmony with the slow rhythm of her breathing, the pulse in her ears. For perhaps the first time in her life, the Eídisi was aware of her body's many natural functions from the saliva that formed in her mouth to the beat of her heart which she could feel throughout her body when she concentrated. The young woman learned that there was a music to her life. Sounds, rhythms, harmonies. There were multiple melodies, all interweaving with one another, harmonising in a glorious bodily symphony. It was mesmerising and fascinating. It was interesting to discover so much simply by opening her mind, by being willing to do so.

Although she could sense more than she had done before, there was still much that was beyond her, especially as Lida'via kept talking, urging her to new heights that she could not understand.

"Once you can sense your breathing, your heartbeat, feel further. Feel the blood move from your heart to your arms and your fingertips. From your heart to your belly, your legs and your feet. Feel the pulse of it within your head, at the temples, your neck. Try to feel it all at once. Imagine that you're floating in water. Feel lighter, more buoyant, feel your whole self at once," her instructor murmured. The scholar tried, almost straining to feel everything but it made her feel more tense. The young woman focused on her breathing again, trying to calm herself again, still her nerves but it wasn't as easy now. It was like something was buzzing through her blood, leaving her overexcited, over energised. Maebella had succeeded in the first step and had allowed herself to become too enamoured with that success, cocky and it had made her fail.

She opened her eyes briefly, centring herself in the Meditation Room before she closed them again, shutting out the outside while she turned her focus inwards once more.

---


By the time her private lesson came to an end, the young woman had succeeded in delving back into her internal rhythms. She'd managed to gain a sense of that floating feeling that Lida'via spoke of but she was struggling to move onto the next part, even though Lida'via continued to repeat her instruction. She'd had to take multiple breaks at her teacher's insistence, even though she wanted to keep at it until she could succeed. Thanks to her last break, she was feeling more refreshed than when she stopped last but she was still getting tired. It took a surprising toll on her, all this meditating. Soon, she'd have to stop, she knew that but for now, she wanted to try one last time. One final attempt to take this step.

"When you feel light, let the feeling of your body fade. Don't let go of your awareness of it but turn inward, into your mind. Keep it clear of idle thoughts."

Idle thoughts. What did it mean to think idly? Was she not supposed to think about what she could achieve? If she could simply stretch her mind a little further and do what needed to be done. But by Yvithia, she was tired.

With a groan, she buried her face in her hands. "I can't do this anymore," she complained, risking a tired look at the Sev'ryn. The Sev'ryn appeared totally at ease, entirely still although her eyes were focused on the Eídisi. She gave a nod.

"I understand. It has been difficult for you although you have done well for an Eídisi. You are very cerebral and so you struggle with dealing with the body as well. For one of your race, it is not easy," Lida'via explained, smiling as she unfolded herself smoothly. Maebella followed but her own rise was certainly not as graceful. Her body had stiffened in places, making it hugely uncomfortable as she rose, staggering a little as she got to her feet. She winced as she straightened out.

"I thank you for your time, Lida'via, although I feel that I need not make as much progress as I should have. However, I am very glad for what you have showed me. I have learned much to-trial that was unexpected," the blue-skinned woman murmured humbly, bowing slightly in respect. Lida'via returned the gesture with a small smile.

"I assure you that you did very well. It was a pleasure to teach you; you are not as arrogant as many of your people that I have thought before," the Sev'ryn explained before they parted ways.

It had been a productive trial indeed.
Credit to Rose Greenwood
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One Does Not Simply Meditate

Postby Doran Cooney » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:57 am

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Maebella Arval
Knowledges
Discipline: Focusing the mind
Etiquette: Thank someone for teaching you
Intelligence: Questioning someone's origins
Meditation: Good posture is important
Meditation: Seated stance
Meditation: Focus on natural bodily functions

Location (Viden): Viden Academy Fitness Centre
Lida'via (NPC): Meditation Instructor
Lida'via (NPC): Sev'ryn
Menochoros: Meditation is beneficial

Loot: -50GN for 10 sessions in Menochoros (Beginner); -50GN for private Meditation lesson
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A

Points 10
---
What a suitably relaxing thread for what must have been a frustrating experience for Maebella - at least at the end there! The teacher oozed karmic peace and herbal remedies - very nice characterization where you provided it. Once she's able to merge her meditation, mental acuity, and menochoros into one, knowledge really will be power!

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