Ok. We all have heard of meditation. Some of us do it, some of us tried it and gave up. We found it beneficial but it was kinda boring. And we wonder how some people are so intense and passionate about it. How do they have the discipline to do it. The media is full of great tales of how meditation is such an amazing thing. A panacea if you will to all our ailments, from addiction, depression, anger to weight loss, anxiety, even healing after chemotherapy and surgery. If meditation is such a great tool, then why doesn’t everyone who learns it stick to it?
To know the answer and to know how you too can meditate easily, read on.
Well, it’s kinda like Ice Cream. How many flavors of Ice Cream are out there? And why do they all sell? Cause this world is made up of different types of people and not everyone likes vanilla ice-cream. So the point is that you have to find the meditation that’s right for you. Kinda like anti-depressants. Pardon the use of this example especially since meditation actually helps us to get off of anti-depressants or not get on them in the first place.
I knew a friend who suffered from intense anxiety, panic attacks, depression and anger issues. She tried various therapies, drugs, homeopathy, acupuncture, and various spiritual practices. When it came to medication, the doctor tried different medications on her. When she asked him why, he told her that every patient has a different medication that suits them. One anti-depressant will not work on every case. It’s the same with meditation or any type of “spiritual practice”.
This friend then went on to try different meditations. She went to 10-day silent Buddhist retreats. She tried another form of Buddhist meditation – Mindfulness meditation. She tried IAM meditation, Pranayamic Breathing, Qi-gong, Tai-Chi, you name it, she tried it. And she gave them a good go doing each one for at least a year or two. Sure there were benefits but it was too much trouble to maintain the practice. She found that she used to have to force herself to do the practice everyday. She had to drag her feet to get going. It was like another added burden to her life. Meantime she met quite a few in those groups who used to tell her that they tried other things but had trouble sticking to them. About how wonderful this meditation (insert whatever practice she was doing at the time) was. But she was determined to not take medications for her problem. She used to tell anyone who would listen that “one day in the future i don’t want to have a big black mole with thick hairs coming out the side of my neck only to be told that there were side-effects to the anti-depressants I took 20 years back that the drug company failed to disclose”. So off she went to the next thing and the next thing. Till finally, voila, she found the right thing. According to her, it was like a round peg finding a round hole. The benefits were tremendously different in quality and quantity from the other things she had tried. And she found herself in the meditation room daily sitting and doing the practice without any effort on her part.
So the point is that if you feel that the meditation or “spiritual practice” that you are doing is well…not to disrespect it or anything…but well it’s kinda boring for you and hard to do it daily, then it’s not the right one for you. But don’t despair. There is a right one waiting out there for you. Don’t give up.
The benefits are ginormous in terms of mental, physical, spiritual and material well-being. Find the right thing for you. There are some wonderful teachers, traditions and practices out there. Life is short and you are worth it. In fact, your life is worth it, isn’t it?
I have seen the changes in my friend. Her body is changed. It’s slimmer. She is upbeat all the time. She forgave and forgot the past slights and has a great relationship with her family where it was wrought with pain and tension before. She is doing well career-wise and I love to be around her. She glows. And she tells me “i feel so blessed and blissed. What did I ever do to deserve this life?”
For a list of wonderful techniques and organizations devoted to teaching meditation and related practices, tweet us @yogatailor.
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