When I first met my meditation teacher in the gym back in 2012 there was an instant attraction to him. Physically, he was beautiful. But there was something else about him that initially drew me to him. He sort of had a “glow” thing going on. No - he literally was glowing. I had to see what his deal was so I went up to him and started chatting. It wasn't long into our conversation I learned he taught meditation and oddly enough, it was something that I had been studying at that time.
In a matter of minutes I had made my mind up to learn the technique from him. He was in town teaching that weekend. I decided on the spot that I was in. I spent that weekend with a group of strangers who also wanted to learn the technique in an empty spa in the Flatiron District. We were given mantras and learned how to meditate through vedic meditation taught by our teacher, Light Watkins.
People say when and if you are ready to incorporate meditation into your life, it often may just “show up” in front of you. Despite being in a room with strangers and not being certain if I was even “doing meditation right”, I was shocked at how easy it was for me to fall into a transcendental state
I learned that the thing about meditation is - there is no such thing as doing it wrong.
No meditation is a bad meditation. Even if it means you couldn’t get your thoughts or “monkey brain” to settle down. The goal is to focus on your breathe and ignore your thoughts. Mantras help to keep your attention simply on a word instead of thinking about all the stuff you need to do on a daily basis.
Meditation is more restful than a nap.
It is known to rid diseases such as CVD and high blood pressure, helps break bad habits and helps with sleep issues. Meditation is also known to enhance your mood, and has a positive effect on just about your entire life. You know that vague fleeting state of mind you feel you are in right before you fall asleep and you hear a noise and then are jolted back to reality? That’s where you go (and stay) when you meditate. It is amazing at how clear your perception of things becomes.
Here are some ways meditation has changed me:
Helped with my reaction time. This was a big one for me. I used to react to what people say and do based purely on emotion. Mediation helps slow you down and think before you react.
Helped with improving the quality of my sleep.
Helped with food cravings- specifically sugar.
Helped put things in perspective- I was able to slow down and not react on emotion which helped keep me calm and look at the bigger picture of things.
Helps with fighting diseases such as CVD and HBP. It also helps with reducing overall stress.
Personally, meditation (When I meditate consistently- people visually notice and see it. I am told I am often “glowing” when people who haven’t seen me in some time like to say.
It helped clear my skin
Improved my level of stress as well as my focus
It helped fight off afternoon fatigue.
Improved my self control.
Helped break some unhealthy habits.
A certain scenario allowed me to really get a good sense of a tangible change that took place for me. A good example of how meditation changed my life was altering my reaction with my mother and specifically channeling my anger and frustration. When my mother used to make me angry, I would react and become emotional. After learning how to meditate, I began to come from an angle of wanting to understand her ways as well as her decision making. Meditation taught me to empathize and to be patient. It taught me how important breathing is. I have to admit I fall on and off my practice wagon, but I can still vouch that meditation is necessary for us all and can be a game changer.
If you do try mediation as a practice, I promise you that you will not regret it.
The best thing to do is give it a try and see where it takes you. If you have no mantra, I suggest to pick a word that doesn’t make sense and also doesn't have a meaning because you should have no association or feelings/emotions associated with this made up word. The point is to just focus on it and see where your “monkey brain” takes you.
Want to learn more about meditation? Check out my teacher's website, and watch his TEDX Talk here: