the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
When I first began meditating nearly two years ago, I did so simply to learn to control my thoughts better. I thought how wonderful would it be to find peace in myself after suffering with a monkey mind for 40 years? What I have gained from 3 years of looking inside of myself has been so much more than I ever expected to find. At times it feels just like magic. The power that your mind has is a fascinating thing.
I am and have mostly always been an introvert. I don’t like venturing into uncomfortable situations or being in crowds of people, but I really wanted to try meditating. I had been reading books about it and trying to follow along with ideas I had gotten from them, but I never could really find the calmness in my mind. One day while browsing the internet I found a beginner meditation class, at a nearby yoga studio, and almost without thinking about it, I signed up. I was nervous because I had no idea what it would be like, how many people would be there, or if I would be able to sit in a group of people with my eyes shut trying to clear my mind. When I showed up for my first class, I was asked to take off my shoes and follow the instructor to the back room that was decorated with peace signs, painted scenes of fall, and inspiring quotes, with small windows that let in just enough of the light of the now setting sun to dimly, almost perfectly, light the room. It felt very peaceful. I was asked to grab a zabuton and a zafu, I assumed those were the pillows and mats that she pointed to as she told me this so i grabbed one of each, and sat down with the eight other people who had also decided that today was the day to find the magic inside themselves.
As class started the instructor had us all get acquainted with one another, one by one telling who we were, what we did for a living, and why each of us was there. I was terrified already. What would I say? I was about the most boring person on earth! When it came to my turn, I simply said Hi i’m Chris, I work at a pharmaceutical company, and I am here to quiet my mind, and find some peace within myself. As I listened to everyone else’s story it was very similar to mine, and I felt more comfortable being in a group of people that seemed to all be there with one common goal. Peace. She then introduced us to the bowl that she would use to start and stop our sessions. The first session was 2 minutes long. she asked us all to sit in a comfortable position, with our spine erect, and our eyes softly open with our gaze down about 6 feet in front of us. This was the first time I had meditated with my eyes open. She asked us to count our breaths to ten and if we lost count to just start over from one. Ding. 2 minutes seemed like a lifetime, I must have had a zillion thoughts in those 2 minutes, I heard cars and motorcycles driving by, and other people in the building. I don’t think I ever got past 2 in counting breaths without having a thought interrupt me. Ding. It was over. I felt like I had failed. The first thing the instructor asked? “How many of you got past 2 in counting your breath?” she laughed as she said it, and so did just about everyone else in the room. She said “I bet you heard the passing cars, and voices from the other room. I bet you thought about your day, and the guy that cut you of in traffic on the way here.” She was so right. She said that that is normal for anyone just starting out. She described to us that when we have thoughts that distract us from our breath that we “need to treat them like a train that enters the station that isn’t the one we want to ride.” She said “just let it come in and allow it to leave, don’t judge the thoughts, just let them come and go and return to your breath.” This was a defining moment in my spiritual journey. It was the thing I needed to hear to change my sessions from just sitting with my thoughts, to sitting outside my thoughts.
Since this moment just over 3 years ago, I have given this utmost importance in my life. I figured if I had time to spend on the internet, wasting countless hours texting, or watching tv, that I could give myself time each day to concentrate on me. Not long after going to these classes I looked up my old therapist hoping to find someone to talk to about the things that would come up in my meditations. When I did go see her she was happy to see that I had found meditation, and I was surprised when she asked me to end our session with a meditation. This is where I found the magic. I have been seeing her for almost 3 years now and we meditate at almost every session. She has taught me so many things, we have gone on journeys, set intentions, done body scans, and just sent peace and healing to others. Sometimes we ask for signs that our energy is getting through, and almost without fail if I look for them they come to me. My awareness for all things has grown immensely. I have found forgiveness, healing, and that removing negative things and people from my life has allowed me to find a creativity that had been hidden inside me for my whole life. As if I was freed from a cell that I had been living in. I have found patience with those around me, and my thoughts.
There are times when people look at me funny when I try to describe the feeling of visibly seeing energy, or the feeling of actually connecting so deeply with another person that you can physically feel them pull that energy away from you at the end of a session. It is hard to describe to someone that you can feel the earth move below you, or the visions you see, or the feeling of unblocking stuck energy in your chakras, when they have never encountered these things. I get funny looks, sometimes even angry reactions, sometimes people distance themselves from me, or call me delusional. I have learned to just accept that. Not everyone is going to find the same things along their journey, and not everyone is ready to accept that they have such a tremendous amount of healing power within themselves. Many people couldn’t be bothered with their own well being long enough to create a routine for themselves, or look away from their phones, TV’s, or Facebook to find peace within themselves. I am like everyone else. I get stuck in moments. I have problems, and heartache. I still have days where it feels like the weight of the world is on top of me. I still am affected by the negativity of others. I still don’t handle every situation perfectly, but in the end I have a place I can go to let it all find it’s place in my life, within myself. That is the magic inside of everyone. Search, and ye shall find.