A workplace professional, who attends my meditation class, admits his initial skepticism to try meditation. He wants to share this with others. Please read his story here:
“I consider myself a person willing to try many things even if they seem a bit unusual.
In my busy inbox, I saw an invitation to attend my workplace’s lunchtime 30 minute meditation class. I wondered if there was something more than a fad about this class. The word ‘meditation’ is everywhere these days. Was this another push by hipsters to get us to buy incense sticks?
I knew Wendy was no hipster and I knew she had gone through so much that there had to be something real. You could see it in her, she was always so calm and composed despite of the threat of her illness reoccurring, that I decided to try it.
I came to the introductory class not knowing what to do. I was a bit nervous, wondering what would I do if I broke out laughing in the middle of the class! Wendy’s introductory class was all I needed to get rid of all my misconceptions about meditation. Even today, years later, I keep in my head a few things she said that day. The two most important ones were:
- Not to judge my meditations (it is ok to have thoughts)
- To practice practice practice
So my first few meditations were awkward and uncomfortable. I sat there listening to Wendy’s voice, while I thought about the most recent work project we did, the problem that my daughter had at school and what I just had for lunch. Despite that, it was incredible to experience the feeling in the room at the end of each session, so I kept going.
Because of my schedule I wasn’t able to go every week so I didn’t see much progress. Wendy kept asking us to practice outside of our scheduled class and I kept avoiding it.
Then I had a particularly rough and very stressful period at work. I wasn’t sleeping well and with two kids at home it was hard to find the time to do it at home. So I decided to give it a chance and try more often at work. I booked 15 minutes in my calendar and said to myself: “Even if I don’t meditate it will be a great way to force myself to take a breather.” So I practiced once or twice a week with some music that Wendy recommended. More and more I was able to slow down my mind, to not entertain every thought that came by, but in many ways it still felt I was always just thinking that it’s time to go back to work. Until one day . . . when I decided it was time to go, I picked up my cell and saw that just over 40 minutes had passed. Did I fall asleep? I was pretty sure I didn’t. I felt fantastic despite that work was particularly stressful that day.
I am a convert now. From that moment on, I practiced more frequently, and saw many things change in myself:
- Before it used to take me a long time to fall asleep, I am now able to very quickly let my mind wind down and fall asleep very easily.
- Even if I woke in the middle of the night I was able to push away whatever was bubbling at work to fall back asleep.
- One night, my seven year old daughter was super hyper after a very busy day she just couldn’t settle down to sleep. She kept coming out of her room over and over again. So I went into her room and asked her to follow my breathing. I tried to guide her using the visualization of putting your thoughts in a box as they come. In less than 5 minutes she was asleep. Now we do that every time she is too excited to go to bed, she even asks for it.
- Just recently I was diagnosed with shingles. On my fourth day, I was in so much pain and my eye was so sore I decided to go to the ER. The room was packed and I knew I was going to be there for a while. My eye felt on fire. I decided to meditate, in the middle of that room full of sick people. So I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. When she finally called my name three and a half hours had passed yet I barely noticed the time go by!
So from a convert I became a preacher. I think it was that night when I convinced my wife to give meditation a try after she had a few insomniac nights of her own. After a couple of weeks she had her first breakthrough. She was super excited. She is now a convert, a scientific convert. I think she has read every published paper about meditation published in the past 20 years.
So give it a try, don’t judge your meditations and practice, practice, practice; even if it is only to take a breather in a busy day.”
Thanks for reading,