This is a guest post by Teekshanam Dodonu. Teekshanam lives in Geneva where he helps to organise Meditation classes. See: Geneva meditation for more details
Meditation is cool. It really is.
Seven 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. It 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 – as well as the endless approaches to meditation.
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 workout and then prepare for the day. I come back home. I try to find a few minutes to meditate in the evening and then do something else. 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 again.
Before it used to be sleeping and doing 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 there is the miracle of seeing results without caring too much about them. Here’s a useful analogy. Try to bring before your mind’s inner 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 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 in others. Being complimented on your ability to maintain your calm amidst challenging situations 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 embark upon.
I just cannot stop being amazed at how cool meditation is.