Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Meditation Part 1

I started meditating about five years ago, and have practiced it every day since. Like many positive life-changing events for me, the impetus came from my wife. At the time, I had been diagnosed with cancer, and was undergoing treatment. It was that period where I didn’t know how things were going to turn out, and I was consumed with both obsessing over what I could do to enhance my chances for a “good” outcome (i.e. surviving), and preparing for the worst (illness and death.) My doctor had prescribed benzos for me to “quiet my brain,” which helped a little, but had obvious side effects. So she suggested we both go to a course on Transcendental Meditation, which we did. I was very open to the idea, but had never really investigated it. I had a vague preconception of the process, but entered into the experience with an open mind.

I immediately took to it, but I wasn’t sure I was doing it right. I also wasn’t certain anything was happening – T.M. requires two 20 minute sessions a day, which seemed like a lot of time. But the process wasn’t a chore, and it seemed vaguely enjoyable, so I stuck with it. Within a few days, maybe a week, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t taking my anti-anxiety medication AT ALL. My obsessive thoughts were just gone. I was stunned – it was obvious that meditating was responsible for the abatement of my symptoms, but it happened so transparently that I almost didn’t notice it.

I still don’t understand how it works, and quite honestly, I don’t really care. I just accept it. The whole experience is very mysterious to me – it seems to affect every part of my life in a powerfully positive way. It’s hard to define, but I’m very aware that it has somehow changed me. I still sometimes wonder if “I am doing it right,” but the effects are unmistakable. I was always resilient, but now I seem to have a vastly larger reservoir of personal power and self control available to me. I seem to be able to step back and put things in a much clearer perspective, as though I can observe life from a detached viewpoint. I seem to be both more sensitive and empathetic and yet somehow less affected by the negative aspects of life at the same time. It’s really weird.

I just feel like I am a better person, and yet I am not quite sure how. I just let go and let life happen.