I remember the first time I sat in meditation at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California. I had just been given my mantra, ( a sacred word that you repeat over and over in your mind). I was so excited! I was about to begin my training! So, heart pumping, I opened the door to the mediation room. And there, a group of about six men and women sat on woven rugs and pillows on the floor in a circle. The light of the warm California sun shined in through the window. A long rope attached to a bell hung from the ceiling. I found a spot on the floor, folded myself cross legged, and eager to begin my meditation journey, closed my eyes.
I expected a great communal hum, a chanting, a shock of lightening. Nothing. It was just me and six other people sitting quietly in a room, all alone. I tucked my disappointment into my pocket, and trudged on. Quietly. Sitting. Repeating my mantra. What I soon realized is that meditation is not about communing with others. It’s about communing with yourself. That’s not to say that a room full of experienced meditators can’t levitate or shift the earth’s energy at it’s axis. That probably can happen when enough people are concentrated on sending energy out into the same space.
But for an inexperience meditator, one who has considered meditation and not yet tried it, or has dabbled but not yet dedicated oneself, meditation can be daunting. Sitting quietly for a half hour with nothing to do but listen to your own breath takes practice. The joy comes later, once you achieve comfort. Some days are buoyant. Other days are bogged down. Every meditation session is different because the version of you that you bring to that mediation is different.
Believe me, though, it is worth the effort. Medical libraries are full of data and statistics to support the health benefits of meditation. All I know for sure is my own personal experience. And what I know is that when I’m not meditating, my thoughts are scattered. I can become frenetic in action and in mind.I can get downright grumpy. But when I’m meditating, I carry with me, as my meditation teacher Davidji says, “a thimble full” of silence. And it’s enough.
So, for all of you out there who’d like to begin a practice, or to begin a practice again, I’ve created this short 6-minute video instruction based on my new book, How to Live Your Passion & Fulfill Your Dreams, to give you an easy understanding of meditation. Please let me know if you try it and how it works for you. Namaste.