Why do I meditate?
Last year I felt broke, stressed and anxious. I worried a lot. I worried myself so much I worried I had depression. I even asked my doctor about it, but he laughed it off saying everybody worries about money. That didn’t exactly help, but at least I wasn’t alone then.
So I didn’t really have a specific goal in mind when I began meditating. I’d heard good things about it, and had experienced a few moments where I felt like my brain was “meditating” . Sometimes outdoors in nature by myself, and a couple of times doing yoga practice. But apart from that I didn’t have any clear idea what it was about.
It was reading Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha by Thich Nhat Hanh that really raised my interest in meditation. I read more books and listened to talks, most of which I found very inspiring. But it wasn’t until I began using an app on my phone that it became a daily habit. I’m using the Headspace app. It lets me pick various 30-day series with different focus. It’s a pricy app with a relatively high monthly fee, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is well worth the money considering the peace of mind I’ve gained in return. Now my day is out of whack if I don’t start it with meditation. It makes me calm and aware of my responsibilities and priorities for the day.
I’ve done it regularly for only about 6 months and have already gained so much. I’m feeling optimistic and happy over longer periods, to the point where I’ve declared 2015 to be The Year Everything Works Out! My wife is even praising me for my improvements, which means the world to me.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and others. But mostly myself. I try to give back what I’m receiving. I’ve replaced anger and frustration with thankfulness and forgiveness. Or at least I attempt to do that as often as possible. I’ve also screamed in the car — and it made me feel better. So allover things are heading in the right direction. I try to make every day better than the last one. Not just for me and mine, but for others around me. Even the person on the crammed bus repeatedly knocking his skis into my face. Meditation is helping me make better decisions, and hence better short- and longterm planning. I procrastinate less and am more able to focus on the task at hand. I’ve meditated while walking, sitting on the bus, at work, before sleeping, even while eating and cooking. I’ve also improved my cooking, learning to enjoy it rather then seeing it as a chore. Which makes my wife happy, and that makes me happy.
The most important things to make it work for me has been:
- Making it a habit. Without this I would’ve only gotten halfway there. I’ve gone from being a don’t-speak-to-me before 11am grumpy morning person to getting up at 6:30 to enjoy my peaceful moments for myself.
- Mindfulness. Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of my thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
You can feel better too.