Did you meditate today?
I’ve been meditating on and off for more than 10 years. In the beginning, I was just curious. I had heard about the benefits of meditation and I wanted to get THERE as fast as possible.
I knew little about the process. I would sit down on my cushion, light a candle, meditate for 5 to 10 minutes, and measure my heart rate and blood pressure to compare before and after. No kidding, that was before I switched to the other side in medicine 🙂
And yes, I was more calm, and happy about the drop in my heart rate I was able to bring about. But that was about it.
Later, when I entered my spiritual training, meditation was a big part of the curriculum. I even went to a meditation retreat every year. One day, I heard myself think for the first time. It was as if I was watching myself in a movie. I could ask questions of myself, and access a clear, concise and applicable answer. It was amazing. And much more meaningful than a small drop in my heart rate!
Since then meditation became part of my daily ritual. There were times when I would meditate religiously every day and then forget about it for weeks. Overall, the whole process massively increased my awareness. I don’t even notice it anymore but there is always this little observer beside me. She is a companion and conscience. She doesn’t judge, she’s just there. She tries to catch me before I fall into the traps of everyday life – numbing myself with food or mindless activities.
But a real kick I had came just last year. I was re-introduced to meditation by a very hyper, extroverted and most unlikely meditation teacher, Kristoffer Carter or KC as his friends call him. KC seemed to be full of energy at any given time. You wouldn’t associate him with mindfulness except he lives it in his own unique way. He talked a lot about right action. What does it mean? Right actions are the things you know you need to do because they are good for you. They are the things that seem boring and dull like choosing healthy food, regular exercise, taking consistent little steps forward in your business. No one applauds you for doing this. You do it for yourself.
I’d love to say I was sold the moment I entered his class. I wasn’t. But I tried and played with it. It took nearly a year to sink in. I used to sit for 10 to 15 minutes most days, but not every day. Now I’m committed to 20 minutes of meditation every morning. For me this is the perfect duration. It gets me awake, aware and helps me focus easily during the day. And I find myself doing all those right actions I never did before. Meditation erased all the drama around it. I just do it. Period. And enjoy the benefits.
So however you come into it, alone or coached, at a retreat or with extroverted guidance – try adding meditation to your day, and notice the changes it encourages in you.