There is nothing I used to find more repulsive than meditation, even after I embarked on my spiritual journey. I used to find it hard to believe that it was a crucial part of the experience, and I did everything I could to avoid it. Since then, I've learned that meditation is something we already do, although we're mostly unaware of it. When we are focused on an activity that we delight in, our mind becomes still. Sometimes, my mind is so still that time passes without me feeling it go by. When the mind is silent, time becomes irrelevant. I've observed that since calming my mind became my intention through meditation, the more evolved parts of my brain have switched on, and a new, living relationship with God has stirred within me.
Up until recently, scientists used to believe that once we reached a certain age of development, our brain would no longer change. However, for thousands of years, yogis have known that the brain can indeed change as a result of meditation impacting our brain function and the systems in our body.
This knowledge combined with my yearning for divine truth inspired me to create my goal of daily meditation, regardless of my mental barriers and challenges at the time. Rather than writing about the transformational benefits of meditation, I thought that sharing my own experience would be helpful, and hopefully somewhat relatable.
I was clueless when I started meditating. Rudimentary questions like "How do I sit?" or "Should I lay down?" would be among the many that came to mind. It was difficult to find information on the internet that worked for me, and I didn't know anyone who was 'spiritual' at the time that I could ask questions to. After deciding that breaking my head was not the result that I was seeking in meditation, I chose to take a step back and keep it simple. I began listening to binaural beats while sleeping or performing mindless tasks, like washing dishes or folding my laundry. I was well aware that this was not actual meditation, but it began training my mind to stay focused and calm, and it amplified my intention. It was the groundwork that laid the first stone onto my higher path of tuning into the divine.
Self-Awareness Creates Honesty
They say that true self-awareness is rare, and I agree. I believe that many of us are conscious of our own characters, feelings, motives, and desires, we simply need to acknowledge them and get to the root of them. Honesty is at the very heart of our spiritual development, and meditation can serve us by teaching us how to recognize what's really going on in our mind.
It wasn't easy to confront the parts of myself that I was avoiding, nor was I intending on doing so. It had surprised me to find out that, for me, introspection was one of the earliest side effects of meditating. I recall the first idea that came to my awareness was my criticism towards certain people. For example, during one of these occasions, I reflected on why I often passed judgment on women that were promiscuous. I felt bitterness towards sexually liberated women, until my contemplation revealed to me that I was resentful towards my own sexuality due to sexual traumas that I have experienced in my past, and was experiencing at that time. I found it interesting that my subconscious mind had me make that connection while I was living through sexual abuse. The longer I sat with this, the more curious I became about digging up the other buried parts of myself.
Learning to be honest with myself eventually led me to start being more honest with others, but it wasn't an overnight transformation, it took time and patience. I learned that through meditation, I was tapping into my subconscious mind and slowly found myself avoiding the repetition of old patterns and began releasing self-victimizing beliefs that were limiting me.
Meditation Cannot Be A One-Size-Fits-All Approach
One of my spiritual teachers explained how she opened her third eye during the second time she had ever meditated, which resulted in her being able to start having visions. In contrast, I've experienced a more challenging path that has required determination, practice and commitment. After 6 years of practicing meditation, I'm barely beginning to feel my mind upgrade at a fast-moving rate. My most recent development while falling into deep concentration is my clairaudience becoming activated, and I'm now able to hear clear voices. Also, I no longer need to listen to meditation music or a voice guiding my visualizations, I'm now able to shift my mind on my own as long as I'm sitting in silence.
There are different types of meditation practices, and I tried different forms until I found what works for me. The most important thing is always making sure that I'm sitting in a comfortable position, which may not look the same for everyone. I found the most success when sitting in a chair with my spine straight. I'm unable to focus while sitting on the floor with my legs crossed, or in a lotus position. For a long while, this impeded my practice because I used to believe that it was the right way and I wasn't being honest with myself about my physical discomfort.
I've known of individuals who benefit from lighting incense because the scent aids in shifting them away from their logical thinking. However, I believe that the idea is to shut off the physical senses while meditating as they lure my attention away from my concentration, I am better off without this method, personally. My regular routine is to light several candles, and this sets my perfect atmosphere.
Practicing pranayama and offering a prayer to God are the preliminary steps that enable me to go deeply into meditation. Engaging in simple breathing exercises for approximately 3 minutes, followed by a prayer and sometimes chanting a mantra allows me to experience calmness and meditative bliss. These steps are non-negotiable for me because my mind must be completely prepared in order to experience the highest vibration of spiritual power that I'm able to reach at this point in my evolution.
It's About Coming Home
As humans, we long for a connection to the divine, regardless of what we perceive as true. And I believe that we have always intuitively known that we can open that doorway through silence and looking inward. It is in silence that we can find the answers to our questions, especially the ones that are in our hearts.
Meditation has been my tool for a vibrant, healthy, and peaceful life. Through meditation, I have opened all the closed inner doors of my body, mind and soul that have allowed the rush of God's love and power. There is no turning back now, as a new awakening comes day by day when I meditate.
If you are feeling the call to plant your feet on higher ground, I offer a free meditation program that can begin to connect you to your divine spiritual guidance here. I invite you to take what works for you, and leave the rest inside an open drawer in your mind, in case you need it later :)