I started meditating a long time back, because I wanted to calm down my crazy mind. I had a lot of anxiety and I knew meditation would help me with that. Why did I choose meditation out of all of the other different things I could try? I mean, I could have started smoking weed, or taking Prozac, or exercising like a fiend, or eating a lot of sugars and carbs, or a hundred other things.
I guess, I was lucky. Or in the right place at the right time. I did a Yoga teacher Training in Toronto, because I inadvertently discovered Hot Yoga, and fell in love with it. Our main teacher for the teacher training was a meditation fanatic. She taught us a lot about it. We meditated a lot. In circles. Solitary. Facing each other. Facing outwards. It was an interesting experience.
Still it doesn’t explain why I started meditating regularly.
Well, this might sound hippy-dippy, but I realized the power of meditation, when I was sitting one day in the meditation pose, in a room with ten others, and I felt this ball of furious, white energy in my hands. It was powerful and white-hot. I felt like I could manipulate it and move it around. It was my first experience with manipulating and working with energy this way. It was quite fascinating.
I thought to myself, if I could have such an experience with just a few sessions of meditation, imagine what would happen if I did many many more sessions. I was hooked.
Of course, that experience wasn’t replicable every single time. Sometimes I meditated and it was quite powerful. Sometimes, I had a hard time keeping my monkey mind from bouncing around all over the place. Yet other times, I spent the whole meditation session thinking about food, all the food that I was going to eat after the session, or sex, all of the sexual fantasies that I was going to reenact after the session. It was definitely a challenge.
But I realized no matter how the individual experiences of meditation were, the overall effect of them on me was palpable. I could feel the changes happening inside of me. I was becoming someone different. I didn’t even look the same anymore.
My anxieties died down. Weight slid off me easily. I smiled easier and more frequently. I was happier without any reason. I danced a lot more, sang a lot more, and felt a lot more. I cried a lot more, and laughed a lot more. My intuition grew stronger and stronger. I was able to manifest things and situations through the power of my thought. I became kinder, and more compassionate. I learned more and remembered more. I loved myself more and more every single day. I hated less. I pooped better. I slept better and longer. I loved more. People liked me more and wanted to be around this energy that they felt inside of me. I radiated joy. I was changed for the better. And it was just the beginning.
What Mind-Killers Pervade You?
I am not an advocate of meditation just for any reason. I have seen the changes it has invoked in my body and mind. The most important thing for me is that I believe in my path more, and I hate myself less. Those two things have changed the world for me. I can make anything happen that I want, because I believe in myself.
What mind-killers are you dealing with? Most of us have a million mind-killers running through us. Fear. Doubt. Anxiety. Hatred. Anger. So many more.
How does meditation help us with these? Meditation kills them dead little by little.
I’m not exaggerating when I say this. I experience all of these mind-killers less and less as I practice meditation regularly.
Let me go through some of them one by one.
Why does fear matter so much? Why can’t we just deal with it? Because like all the other mind-killers, fear is paralyzing. It stops us dead in the tracks. It makes us more susceptible to stopping our work. It makes us weak. It keeps us from living our dream life. It keeps us from reaching for the stars.
Meditation helps us convert fear into excitement. Mostly nowadays, I am able to either transmute any fear I might feel, maybe before a public speaking event, into excitement. So I get excited about a previously-fearful event. But also, fear in general, that used to be a big part of my psyche has been dissipating. It isn’t just a big part of my life anymore. It comes and goes as all mind-killers do. But when it comes, it doesn’t debilitate me. It doesn’t render me ineffectual. It doesn’t paralyze me.
Instead of being an incapacitating cancer as it was before, now it’s just an annoyance, like a tiny mosquito bite. It’s there, and I can feel it. But it doesn’t really take up the whole of my brain capacity.
Doubt is just the most horrible thing that ever came out that Pandora’s box. I mean, we know we are great and awesome beings. But there’s just this something in our psyche that makes us think, ‘Maybe I am not that great. In fact, maybe I am really really bad. Everyone is going to laugh at me. I shouldn’t go ahead with what I was planning to do and have been excited to do for months.’
Horrible doubt. I hated it. I had a lot of it. I mean, A LOT.
Everything I did was coloured by the colours of doubt. The horrible dark slimy colours of doubt. I hated myself in those moments, as I couldn’t believe in myself enough to do anything. I was bad at everything, at least in my mind. Why would I bother with anything? I am useless, I shouldn’t even try. Blah, blah, blah.
Mind-killers are just so great at saying exactly what can kill you.
Meditation helped me realize, ‘Yes, I’m imperfect. So what? I’m still good enough. I’m still going to go on and do what I want to do. What if I fail? I’ll learn from it. What if I die? At least, I lived a great life. What if everyone hates me? There are 7 billion other people out there.’
Meditation kills the mind-killers. It does so so effectively that you wonder what you were doubtful about in the first place. So that as doubt dissipated mostly, I was able to actually do the work that the universe placed me here to do. It is a process, and I’m still on the journey. It never ends. I’m always learning.
Anxiety is a miserable state of being. I felt so much anxiety that I would constantly by drawing alphabets in the air with my fingers, writing out words in cursive, to quell that anxiety. I had to be constantly moving, my feet, my arms, my legs. I was always shaking to dispel that anxiety. After I learned to type, I would always be typing letters in the air.
Always and forever anxious. That would have been engraved on my tombstone, if I were Christian. I was always anxious and worried about something or other. The future was this looming disastrous place and I didn’t want any part of it. I could only deal with it, if I was constantly planning, and controlling the future by strict self-control. I controlled my diet, I controlled my body, I controlled my time and I controlled my money with a Hitler-like dictatorship. If something caused my control to fall apart or if someone caused it to break, I would go into major tantrum mode. I would cry. I would throw things. I was a drama queen.
Meditation helped me quell anxiety. Oh man, when I think about how different I was back then, I want to cry. So much anxiety was pumped into this tiny body of mine. How did I live? How did I survive this crazy world? No wonder I had explosive fits of anger, and tantrums. The more I meditate, the more I realize that control is useless.
Control is illusionary.
As anxiety dissipated from my life and body, I realized I didn’t need control. I went with the flow. I was like water. Everything was happening exactly as it’s supposed to. Everything is perfect. I don’t need to control anything. Everything is perfection. Chill. Relax. Let the goodness flow on and on. All of this happened without drugs, or external stimuli, mind you. Just meditation.
Isn’t Anger a weird emotion? I always used to get angry about things that I couldn’t control. The flight is delayed, let’s get angry about it, and ruin our day. The class is cancelled, and we walked all the way to it, let’s be really angry about it, and get our blood pressure high for no reason. On and on.
I had anger issues. I even considered going to psychotherapy for treatment. Instead, I started meditating.
The thing about anger is that I was angry because I wasn’t living up to my high (very high) expectations. The truth is life is never equal to our high expectations, ever. Once we realize that through meditation, we calm down. We relax.
Again, we let things happen as they are supposed to happen.
It doesn’t mean that I am not making anything happen in my life. No way! I am actually one of the hardest-working people I know. I wake up at 6am everyday and work through the day.
I am using the emotion of anger and converting it into determination through the power of meditation. I am determined to make things go the way I believe would be best for me. I am not angry about it if it doesn’t go my way though. Big distinction.
Oh, jealousy. It’s just about the most useful emotion out there, if used properly. But the most useless of emotions if allowed to run willy-nilly around in your head. So jealousy is actually a sign-post. In fact, ALL EMOTIONS ARE SIGN POSTS TO SOMETHING. You have to figure out that something.
Jealousy is telling you what you are missing in your life and what you want more of. For example, I used to be jealous of entrepreneurs. Deathly-jealous. I admired them, and wanted to be like them, but didn’t believe in myself enough to do anything about it. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be one badly. But I didn’t realize that my jealousy was giving me that signal. I thought it was just a useless emotion.
I hated being jealous of things before.
Now through the power of meditation and being mindful, I realize jealousy is a sign to things I want to have, be, and do. So I perk up when I feel jealous now. I am excited for it. What juicy gift is this jealousy emotion going to give me now? Because of jealousy, I have quit my job, started my online business, moved to Thailand, become a digital nomad, gone to improv, and theatre auditions, started voice lessons, bought a ukulele and started learning to play it, done a meditation retreat, and so much more.
Overnight Miracles Don’t Exist
Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. Nothing ever does. Regular meditation practice over a period of months changed me. Although I started noticing changes right away in minor, subtle ways, the big stuff happened over time.
Also, as all foolish humans, I stopped and started so many times. I built up a streak of 196 days once, and then broke it because I was bored.
Being bored of our practice is actually a good thing, people. It means, we are plateauing. What comes after the plateau? More growth!
So we just have to keep at it, over a long period of time.
Just begin. Just beginning a practice will completely change your life and views.
At the very least, meditation kills mind-killers. That in itself is a major win.