How did meditation grow in me
As a beginner, I would get frustrated and become quickly bored by the simplicity of the practice or inability to sense anything at all. If you are a beginner you might feel this too. The truth is, as you keep going, eventually, your relationship with meditation evolves into a beautiful story of self-development. So, how has your journey been? Or, what will it be?
I have come to know meditation as a simple practice but subtle experience not always easy to grasp. My first contact with meditation was 4 years ago when I was doing a sales job for a London startup called Yieldify. Our young CEO concerned with the company’s workplace conditions thought to have a Chief Executive of Happiness was a great add-on to the team. The best part was that the job position was given to a Buddhist monk :). He was English by birth, with a shiny bald head and always dressed to traditional Buddhist standards. The first meditation sessions were interesting and I could easily relate with some of the messages. However, when it came to the practice I felt totally disconnected. I remember thinking to myself how useless it seemed to be! After the 3rd session, I gave up and stopped attending. Now, I am aware that this failed encounter with meditation was my starting line.
It was only until a few months later when I was feeling emotionally low that I took my first step forward. My suffering became a channel for personal growth and I approached meditation with genuine curiosity. Right on my second meditation practice, I was gifted with an amazing awakening experience. For the first time, I felt a great sense of peace as I emptied my mind of thoughts by focusing on my exhale and inhale. I could sense the feeling of presence in a totally new form. Was this consciousness? I remember feeling so good that I didn’t want it to stop. There were moments of expansion where I could see myself floating outside my physical body. What a pleasant surprise! I tried meditation a few other times, but nothing like it would happen to me again. Frustrated by expectations, quickly my intention of practising faded away. Like if nothing had ever happened, still I was making my way.
Without realising, I started looking for new ways of experiencing the inner lightness that I had discovered in that awakening meditation. Running was a natural choice that quickly became my new meditation. This new habit offered me moments of peace of mind by focusing entirely on my body endurance and breath. Hidden deep in my body memory and under intensive workout, I was able to find and release my emotional being. From just a few miles a week to running every day to work, to full marathons, the more I pushed myself, the stronger my being would become and the more clarity I would gain. I rediscovered how to listen to my own body. I am always amazed how every single run is able to tell me what parts of my body are weaker, therefore what in me I need to take care of. With running, I can feel more grounded in my body and emotions.
Then, there is my connection with food. Since I went to University, I developed a special relationship with cooking. Rather than following recipes, cooking has always been for me a self-taught field through a lot of testing, many failures and some delicious successes. For me, cooking is like a kids playground stripped out of worry and time. Today, it strikes me how similar it feels to meditation. Looking back, I recognise that my habit of running sparked a new wave of energy in me that took my cooking to another level. Not because I was suddenly cooking better (only practice can take me there), but because inside myself, I could decipher what cooking meant for me. What glued us together was creativity. From then on, I saw cooking with more soul. My perception evolved from tasty food to an act of self-expression and to a medium to relate with others. It taught me, like in food, that I could reinvent myself. And this is how I decided to become a chef. Now, I feel more like “myself”.
Around 3 years ago, I received from the Universe the most beautiful of all presents, Jessica. We were for each other our first child-love and after 10 years growing apart, we had a new chance to get to know each other. Loving was possible again. Everything made perfect sense together, we felt like soulmates. Clearly, she has been raising my meditation to a whole new level. I learnt so much about myself with her. She is a born compassionate listener with impressive coaching skills. I love how she keeps trying to motivate me on doing her 21 days meditations challenges. Which lately, I have accepted. The truth is, I am not yet the regular meditator but I am finding my way. I find myself doing more and more concentration and mindfulness meditations. Meditation has become easier for me. More importantly, I am grateful for all the amazing things I could attract while growing through meditation.
Thank you meditation!