“I’ve been in counseling for 4 years, but it was only when I started meditating that everything my counselor told me finally started to sink in.” One of my meditation students shared this with me last week. Taking up the practice of meditation has changed his life.
You may remember ‘Sam’ who I blogged about recently about his journey from rumination to peace. Sam is a charismatic, outgoing and driven person, but life events over the past few years tormented his daily life by his rumination of how these life challenges had shaped his state of being.
Sam has seen a good counselor on a weekly basis for the past 4 years. But, even though intellectually he knew what the counselor was suggesting he do was right, he found it difficult to put these learnings into practice and he wasn’t getting any ‘better’. 6 months ago, he began learning to meditate in my classes. Much of what I teach mirrored what the counselor was telling him to do. When I teach in class, I often see Sam’s eyes suddenly widen whenever I would say something his counselor has already said to him – things like:
- becoming self-aware of his ruminating thoughts
- recognizing that his reactions to his problems are largely what is making him miserable
- practicing not judging others as harshly
- seeing his experiences as part of a journey
Sam admitted to me when he first started learning meditation he was very skeptical. He didn’t think it would help, and certainly wasn’t going to tell anyone that he was doing it. After just 2 classes, he came to me so excited to tell me how different he feels when he meditates. After each class, he would seek me out to tell me how it’s starting to change him and life is feeling different.
Now, 6 months later, he’s had a relevation . . . that meditation and mindfulness has allowed him to finally absorb and internalize all the things the counselor’s been telling him for 4 years! Meditation has provided a safe space for him to ‘be’ with the counselor’s teachings and finally he is feeling relief and happiness in his life that he forgot he ever felt.
Sam is now reducing his counseling visits from weekly to monthly, and his counselor is happy to see the progress he has made.
It’s been a real joy to see the transformation Sam has made, and an honour that he entrusts me with his deepest troubles in life. He is fascinated with meditation and because of his experience says ‘everyone should be doing it!’ I remind him that it’s not for everyone, and he loves to debate with me and saying ‘it is for everyone, they just don’t know what they don’t know!’.
So partnering counseling with meditation and mindfulness has made a world of difference for Sam. It has created space for him to learn what he needed to learn, and gives him time to feel more like his true self, rather than the difficult events that have happened in his life.
Congratulations to Sam! I am so happy for you!