Meditation is cool. It really is.
Fifteen years ago when I first started to meditate, it felt like something beyond reach for us, the mere mortals, that only seriously minded individuals would practice. Meditation also seemed complicated in the sense that you are not supposed to do anything and at the same time something was supposed to be happening. And then there were all the do’s and dont’s — sit straight, keep your mind under control, eat this or do not eat that, not to mention the many approaches to meditation that exist.
As I look back, I am surprised at how simple meditation can actually be. It also amazes me how such a simple thing as meditation can change one’s life – only for the better.
I wake up in the morning. I meditate. I do my physical workout and then prepare for the day. I come back home in the evening. I try to find a few minutes to meditate again. My day has a start I can effortlessly control – my morning meditation. My day has a natural transition and ending point – my evening meditation. I am confidently in control throughout.
Before learning how to meditate, I simply used to be going about doing my daily duties. Now there is more. There is a time in the morning when I am with myself, consciously with myself. It’s neither sleeping nor working. It’s just being with myself. In the evening, the experiences collected during the day are put to rest. All extraneous mental and emotional weight is acknowledged and let go of. I am with myself again.
And then, without first noticing, there is the miracle of seeing over time results without caring for them. Here’s a useful analogy. Try to bring before your mind’s eye the image of a bird’s nest. What is it made of? Essentially, it consists of small pieces of wood, straw, dried offshoots and some sticky material like soil or clay. So what? Well, consider the constraints a small bird like a sparrow has to face: a small beak, no arms, not much strength. Yet, despite her smallness, it manages to build a nest for herself and her family to last a lifetime.
What’s the bird’s secret? Perseverance and focused repetitive behaviour consisting of hundreds and thousands of trips to locate, collect and bring the needed building material to the construction site of the nest. Tedious and boring? Maybe. Successful, useful and practical? You bet!
Meditation can be likened to a sparrow’s effort to build a nest. Meditating once a month would not amount to much, although it is better than not doing it at all. At this rate of progress, it would take many generations of sparrows to complete the nest. If they can survive many winters without a nest, that is.
Meditating every day, on the other hand, can make a world of difference in a relatively short span of time. You may or may not notice it yourself simply because of the habit of being with yourself at all times. Not so for others, who will notice the change or will see something special in you that they normally do not see otherwise. Being complimented on your ability to maintain your calm in the midst of a challenging situation or spontaneously exhibiting unconditional goodwill to people who do not expect it are just insignificant by-products of a major transformative cycle of personal growth you have embarked upon.
I just cannot stop being amazed at how cool and simple meditation is.
For more articles on integrating meditation into the present-day lifestyle and for more information on starting a meditation practice of your own, visit www.GenevaMeditation.ch.