Last week was fun but with #week4, we have started getting a little more serious. An a busy professional in her late 20s, it could be difficult to decide between a great career and mental/spiritual fulfilment. Too bad, we often choose neither and prefer to binge a series on Netflix. So, this time, I thought about adding 10 minutes of meditation in my day. Of course, it won’t be much but this is something that will help me grow as the year progresses.
The delusions of the world
Have you ever felt that the job you are doing and the relationships in your life are worthless? It is a common experience for us all.
Every once in a while, the job, the money, the people we have known forever will appear worthless and our soul will wander for something more meaningful- something that fulfills us, something that drives you, heals you, motivates you.
Something that works with your mind, your spirit and your consciousness.
Something that doesn’t expect you to be perfect but lets you flow, like a river.
Too bad, this world thrives on delusions. We may never admit it, but we don’t wish to get out of those delusions. We are afraid that something or someone will take away everything we have and leave us with a sense of nothingness.
Several times in my life I have realized that we prefer a bad relationship, a bad job over no relationship and no job. This feeling of nothingness takes over everything we are and everything we could be. More on that some other day.
Getting over the delusions
We all know it is a delusion but we choose to live in it anyway. This is what makes us so sick in this routine. This is why we can never fully commit to whatever we are doing. We are all aware- this is not what we expected, this is not where we need to be.
When a feeling like this starts creeping up inside you, you will feel restless. There is nothing you can possibly do to change the situation. So you start feeling stressed. This stress creates roadblocks, mentally and physically. Your body experiences pains, your mind feels numb.
Meditation should never be considered a spiritual equivalent of medication. It will not magically transform you into a saint. Anyone who tells you that meditation will somehow ‘heal’ you is talking BS and should be treated that way. This makes you expect too much from a practice that simply helps you concentrate better, lets you become your best self and handle stress.
So how does meditation handle stress? The answer is focus. When you learn to focus your energies, you learn to control your mind better. There is nothing magical about it. It is basic discipline. The more you are able to control your mind, the better control you will have on your emotions. This will eventually help you in beating stress. Remember, no high hopes. You won’t become a guru by practicising meditation for some days. It takes time and dedication. What I can promise is that it will be really very helpful in calming your mind.
What happened during the 10 minutes of meditation?
For all 7 days, I sat in my room, eyes gently closed, focusing on nothing. Now, some people require rosaries, beads, mantras and music to focus completely. I consider them a great way to enter a meditative state quickly. I have used all of these methods and they work well. However, I preferred this silent meditation for this week.
At first, thoughts from all directions started running in my mind. I could not be at peace. I would remember something that happened years ago, I would feel pain and sorrow. Happiness was not an emotion I felt during meditation. No.
These are the very thoughts that you try to restrict from your mind. They contain shame, embarrassment, hurt and pain. I let them flow and for once, acknowledged them and maybe even appreciated them. Once the mind was not preoccupied with these unanswered emotions, it started to rest. Within 10 minutes, it had found a happy ‘nothing’ that it would like to stay in.
You may think that I spent the rest of the day, walking around in my orange/yellow robe with a halo around my head and feeling calm. No. Not at all.
When I was angry, I was angry- but less angrier than before. When I was irritated, I was irritated- but less irritated than before. A sense of bliss lingers in your mind and it may tend to fade. That is why you need to come back and practice for another 10 minutes the next day.
Challenge for #week1 was intermittent fasting. After doing it for 3 weeks, my body started revolting. I needed food and I needed it at the right time. It was not thrilled with the idea of intermittent fasting anymore. I decided not to force myself too much.
Challenge for #week2 was drinking at least 3 liters of water each day. I averaged at about 2 liters per day. It was getting cold, but no excuses.
Challenge for #week3 was giving myself an hour of ‘me time’. Continued doing so in week 4 as well. Felt happy with it all.
Now as #week4 comes to an end, it is time for #week5. This time, the challenge is to avoid burnout at work and reduce the work load to about 1/3rd for a saner, easier week. It will be difficult for me to do but we are doing it.
These 10 minutes of meditation will add something more productive to your life in the weeks to come.
As time goes on, I would try to keep my meditation practice regular. Maybe it will not be 10 minutes of meditation anymore. It could be 20 or 30 minutes. But whatever it is, we can choose to spend at least 1/6th of an hour just meditating and feeling the nothingness that it leaves behind.