It’s a word seen and heard more and more today than ever before.
From television to social media, one is unlikely to finish the day without encountering some form of reference to the ancient practice. For many of us, the word alone invokes images of mystical experiences atop majestic mountains, tranquil ocean sunsets or swami contortionists executing impeccable lotus positions for hours on end. It takes us to a peaceful place where the ethereal scents of incense and resin waft lazily through candlelit spaces. The soft, healing tones of therapeutic music soothes the mind and comforts the soul.
For others, meditation may resonate more with ideas of complete silence for short intervals throughout the day or relaxing outdoors enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Whatever your perception of the word, whatever your experience; the one thing we can all agree upon ... the practice of meditation has become a growing staple in the lives of many over the course of a decade.
Originating in the various regions of the East, archaeologists conclude the birth of meditation occurred well over 5,000 years ago. Other experts suspect it emerged even earlier, however, that would’ve preceded recorded history leaving behind no definitive proof. The specifics of who and where are still very much veiled in mystery but that doesn’t diminish the ever growing influence this beautiful practice has (and continues to have) on mankind.
Much can be said about this age-old custom and its countless benefits to the human experience; individually and collectively. It teaches you to assert control over your thoughts and your mind, so as to silence them long enough to hear your deepest truths. It encourages one to live a grounded existence in a constant state of peace, balance and harmony while integrating the mind and the spirit energies into one cohesive unit. Encouraging us to actively live life as the highest version of ourselves.
My own journey with meditation began as mere curiosity, I would often barricade myself in my room surrounded by dozens of tiny, tealight candles. The incense was my favorite part, gently stirring my senses awake in a way that made me forget about the outside world. Suddenly, my reality became peaceful solitary. I quickly discovered meditation breaks-up the chaotic cadence of work, parenting and general “adulting”.
As time progressed and sporadic sessions turned into nightly rituals, I started to note subtle changes manifesting within me. I was calmer, and less agitated. Anger became a secondary emotion and frustration fueled outbursts took a backseat to more effective modes of communication. Nights were no longer sleepless due to a mind racked with worry and daily bouts with anxiety became less and less frequent. I felt as though I’d been set free from a glass cage. I could clearly see the life I wished for myself but it was always just out of reach due to my inability to focus on anything other than the obstacles and negativity that constantly surrounded me.
After coming face to face with my own demons, I learned my ego was responsible for creating so much personal chaos. Meditation silenced the world just long enough for me to realize the power to change was within me all along. This epiphany was the catalyst that launched me out of my old body and into the one that I now inhabit. I was motivated to pursue a much deeper connection with myself, subsequently shedding old versions of myself that no longer made sense.
My interest in practicing meditation eventually grew into a practice I regard with the utmost respect. It’s aided me in limiting the elements of fear and self-doubt in my own life. I used to seek validation through others, viewing my person through their lens. I now go within and receive official sanction from my higher self, all while silently chanting the mantra, “I am enough”.
I’ve developed a deeper understanding of discernment between ego and spirit. It allows me to perceive the bigger picture in every situation and make decisions from a higher space of consciousness. It has relaxed me after stressful long days and reinvigorated me when I reach the brink of exhaustion. Overall, my experience with meditation has not only elevated my own spiritual awareness but brought me further into alignment with all of creation.
I better understand my place in the world as an individual as well as in conjunction with the rest of humanity. Meditation has indeed brought me face to face with who I am at the very core of my being and with that, comes a deeper appreciation for my life and the lives of others.