Spirituality is very popular and common thing. Meditation and mindfulness is what we hear almost everyday. Someone is very cynical about it, someone has tried and understood, someone is waaaaay too spiritual. We all know those people who are so spiritual, that aren’t suitable for normal life.
I don't judge the path of anyone, especially those choosing to focus purely on spiritual development. This is purely my observation.
As a believer of balance in life, here I eventually reached the same approach.
My meditation journey has started in summer of 2012, my personal development year, as I would call it.
I was staying home at that time for 4 months, with no work. All I did was studying, going to the gym and reading. Similar to the situation right now, isn’t it?
I was reading the book of Robin Sharma “Greatness Guide”, it had 30 days of practical tasks, which I did. One of them was meditation.
I had to lie down and imagine if someone I was angry at (and I was) I had to ask forgiveness, imagining all in the brightest details, and had person to ask me to forgive back.
That time I was holding on to a lot of anger and resentment about the past. And I could not believe, how I felt after that. I just FELT release in my body. It didn’t go completely, but eventually after few meditations it was gone. I wasn’t smoking and drinking for half a year that time, and I felt like I couldn’t relax without it, the irritation was building up. The meditation was a great exchange for it. I finally could let go the tension, that even training couldn’t take.
That was just the beginning of my spiritual journey.
I have been meditating since then the whole year, I started to work at the hotel, and i noticed that days I have meditated, I was much more patient, more understanding, more caring. Meditation was giving that gap between stimulus and response, it was giving me a chance not to be reactive.
I wanted to learn more about meditation as I was more and more fascinated with its' effects and in September 2014, I took my first 10 days Retreat in Nepal, Kathmandu.
We lived in Kopan Monastery, woke up at 5:30am and had vegetarian food all the time. That was quite a challenge by itself! There was a schedule of 2-3 meditations a day and buddhist teachings, discussion groups.
There were hundreds of fascinating moments and maybe this will be a longer story for some another time.
If I could take 1 single thing from that retreat, it would be:
All the time you are suffering - it’s your ego. You want something and you don't get it. Always.
That year I have spent meditating almost every single day, maybe 5-10days that I have missed. 355-360days - how about this long to build the habit and expect results?
But I felt like I have missed something. I wanted to come to the same place, to the monastery. And the only course that I could take was the same course of introduction. I went by myself to Nepal in June 2017 and took exactly the same course and that’s when I understood what was missing.
Even despite meditation, I was failing to use the principles in life.
For me Buddhism is interesting as a philosophy. While being an orthodox, I have never been religious. For me if you have a good heart and good deeds, I don’t care about your religion and nationality.
And I understood one thing about meditation itself.
I asked our teacher, nun:
“When I meditate deeply, I feel the light rising and then it doesn’t stay, it's fading away.
Why does it happen?”
She replied: “It’s because you are grasping it, you want it to stay. We are all attached beings, just let it be.” I was stunned.
That was the reason I didn’t want to meditate for a while, I expected things to happen, and I was disappointed when it didn’t, all I had to do was just to BE there and feel, to let it come and let it pass. I guess you could imagine that since then my mediations were never the same. I was just there. I was feeling, I was Being.
And to my surprise, the light stayed longer, when I didn't expect it to stay anymore.
It’s a year 2020 and I meditate 1-2 times a week. I was honestly concerned if I had to do it everyday as in the beginning of my self-discovery journey. But after November-December 2019 when I spent meditating almost daily and I ended up mixing the appointments for different weeks. I wasn’t upset, but I knew that was enough meditation for me. I was not feeling time and space. I was getting constantly late. But.
I felt like I did became a different person, I let go of the past and my past self. In order to become somebody else, to grow, to get what we want, we need to die inside, we need to kill the person who we were in the past. I know it’s scary.
But that's exactly what meditation is all about for me: you go deeper into the levels of subconsciousness, when your analytical mind is resting, there is almost no chatter and you can let go past, let go pain, resentment, and fill your heart with love. And then open your eyes and be more compassionate and loving person.
It's not important for me how good you are in meditation, how often you do it or how long. It's way more important what you do when you open your eyes.
For me there is no difference between person who trains 5 hours a day (who doesn't earn money this way), works day in and day out and doesn't have time for family and friends, someone who meditates 2-4 hours a day and so on.
For me all those people will be out of balance. Just to clarify: I don’t say you shouldn’t give all your effort and time to one area for 3-6-12 months. Especially if you want to reach your fitness goal, earn and save money, heal some deep-routed pain. I see it as a very focused approach. Just my one desire for all is not to get too stuck in one area. If you sit and meditate for hours, you just won’t be able to pay your bills soon. And then sooner or later, you will have to run away from burning fire of your ignored problems.
I believe that in life we must learn to be flexible.
It’s not how good you are in one single thing, but rather how good you can switch from one thing to another.
There is time to work, there is time to play. There is time to run for money and success and there is time to reflect on your chair with a cup of coffee.
Right now the whole world slowed down. Maybe it’s time for us to slow down and just think and feel?!
What’s next? What will be the next good thing to focus on? Not the one you are actually good at, but the one that was screaming for attention for too long? Pay attention...
P.S. You can ask questions here. Maybe something you want to clarify?