This week I attempted to re-start my daily meditation practice. I remember a time when I meditated every day. I had heard about Davidji in 2015, who is, from his site, “an internationally recognized stress-management expert, corporate trainer, meditation teacher, and author of the critically acclaimed and Amazon #1 Bestseller, destressifying: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfillment, and Peace of Mind.”
He had an event called “40 days of transformation”. It was free, all I had to do was visit his website and listen to the guided meditations, every day, for 40 days. I did not have much experience sitting still, eyes closed, breathing and not thinking for more than 10 minutes. However, I had heard that meditation was beneficial and I had met people who meditated regularly, invested to the point of having meditation rooms in their homes for their practice. These people seemed pretty calm from my perspective. While I did not have a meditation room, I decided to keep it simple and give this Davidji a try.
How it worked
The first guided meditations was 20 minutes long. Day 2 to 40 ranged from 27 to 50 minutes. I decided to practice in the morning, before going to work.
- Breathing and a sense of calm -Because the meditations were guided, he would introduce various breathing techniques. This calmed me immediately.
- Mantras and focus – He would then talk about the subject of the meditation – often including the mantra providing the definition/meaning of the words. This guidance was appreciated and prepared me for the sections of silence that would follow, where I would practice breathing, repeating the mantra and trying “not to think”.
- Making time for self – doing this practice every morning, I was doing something kind for me. The benefits here are reconnecting to myself. I had not felt connected to myself quite like I did when I was meditating daily. I became more aware.
- Allowing – it was made very clear that my thoughts would wander, and that was acceptable. I think people do not meditate because they cannot stop their thoughts and therefore believe they are doing it wrong. Davidji made it clear there is no right or wrong. Just taking the time to breathe, and sit in silence is beneficial. The mantra was to help bring you back from those wandering thoughts and helped focus on meditating once again. Because of this allowance of thought, I became more accepting.
- Patience – or less stressed? Daily life became a lot less stressful. Or I became more patient. I am still not sure. All I know is that things that used to bother or create panic or stress inside, just did not anymore. I think I started to focus on things that were more important and was able to let the unimportant things go.
- Freedom – there is nothing like the sense of freedom I felt during the Stretching Beyond Your Limits guided meditation. In this one, we were guided to visualize ourselves flying. It was surreal and I had never felt anything quite like that before. For me, freedom is happiness. If I feel free, I am happy. Or perhaps, if I am happy then I feel free? Either way, these meditations helped a great deal in the happy department.
- Inner glow – I have read that meditation can slow aging. I cannot confirm or deny this. I can confirm based on experience that I received many compliments about how wonderful I looked, that I was glowing and people wanted to know what I was doing. I recall that I was smiling a lot more too.
- Overall health – I am not a person who gets sick/ill very often so I cannot say my health improved, however, I did have more energy, did not feel drained at the end of a day at work. I was also much more comfortable in my own skin. I enjoyed my own company before, but this was through effort. Meditation increased my appreciation for being alone. I was not lonely, but simply content.
Getting back to the daily practice
Having experienced the benefits of meditating daily and the contrast of NOT meditating at all, I can conclude without a doubt, that life is better when I take time to breathe and sit in silence for 30 minutes a day. I am now convinced even more so than before. I did not succeed in meditating every day this week, but I did do it three days out of seven.
Results this week – after 3 sessions
- Less resistance – I became aware of how resistant I was with respect to many work related elements in my life. I bought into other people’s stress, believed everything was an emergency, time was lacking etc……NOT a pleasant place to be. This week, after only 3 sessions, I felt that slip away and became more grounded.
- More aware – when I am all twirled up in the illusion of panic, stress, deadlines and the like, I am not aware of my own feelings as much. Meditation this week gave me back some awareness. Yes, it is uncomfortable to feel emotions well up inside like the ocean high tide wave, but it is very healthy to allow this and to release it. Like the ocean tide in and out. That is how the ocean cleanses itself and how I felt this week.
- Freedom – while I do not have the same sense of freedom I had when I was meditating daily as described above, I do feel better and happier. This, despite the many events taking place in my life. I feel that no matter what, I can keep calm and carry on and things will work out again. I missed that feeling and I have gotten a little piece of it back this week.
- Health – I previously stated that I did not have health issues when I was meditating. True. However when I stopped, I became aware, ever so slowly, that I did not feel well mentally. This was progressive and was starting to affect my physical health. I thought to myself “Could it be that something as simple, free and time effective could be the key?” Yes. Believe me, having meditated only three times this week, I saw a difference in how I felt mentally and physically on the days I did versus the days I did not meditate. Meditation wins. I cannot understand why I did not take the time every day this week. I do believe the answer matters little and that if I take the time today, I will feel relief from the question and just do it, instead of overthinking.
I think I am not unique in that we all face stress and issues that we find unpleasant. We all have various problems in life. I do believe that it is beneficial to take time during the day to be with yourself and just breathe. Think or not while sitting in silence, does not matter. The simple act of taking the time to try is the reward. I am hoping it becomes a habit I cultivate this week and for weeks to come. I have seen the effects of meditation and what happens when I do not.
I am once again sold on the practice. So I hope people give it a try. It might even make for a more peaceful day. It could it even have a ripple effect and turn into a more peaceful weekend, week. Heck if we feel more at peace, perhaps others can too!
And on that note, have a peaceful day. Namaste!
If you have no idea where to begin, here is what I did this week. I went to this site : https://davidji.com/meditation/free-guided-meditations/
There are free guided meditations and I experienced the following 3:
- 5 realms of transformation
- “Heart Sutra” peace, harmony, laughter and love.
- “Your Sacred Space
If you like what you have heard, there are albums of guided meditations available for purchase Guided Meditations: Fill What Is Empty; Empty What by Davidji (2009) Audio CD.
Or his online course : davidji – Art of Meditation