A photographer, pilot, architect, model, academic, artist, creative director, marketing executive, and a writer all walked into a room one summers evening and emerged four nights later as a collective field of consciousness.
And so started what felt like my first serious head-first deep water plunge into the world of meditation. I had signed up for a Vedic Meditation course with Gary Gorrow last December thinking that I would be learning just one of the many meditation techniques out there. But for the umpteenth time in the year, I was left speechless. Blown away by the beautiful simplicity of it all. Exhausted. Awestruck. Grateful. All of the above. (See what happens when you show up with less expectation!)
You see, I have meditated on numerous occasions before but never consistently. I knew the reasons for meditation and had dabbled in several different techniques through my own practice, but struggled to keep at it. And as one of my teacher says, you gotta keep at it to get to the goodies. What goodies, you say? I’d probably get a few eye-rolls if I said ‘an expanded level of consciousness’, so in layman’s terms: increased awareness. More presence. Creativity. Connection to gut intuition. Less stress. Gratitude. Increased energy. Relaxed natural state. Reduced substance dependency. Allowing responses, not reactions, to situations. More compassion. All of the above which lets us to bring more of ourselves into relationships and hence bettering them. Slowing down the rate of biological ageing (ladies, take note – this may be the most cost-effective skincare regime you’ll ever try).
So I showed up to learn the Vedic Meditation technique, sworn by many as a simple technique made for effective consistency. It involves the repetition of a simple mantra, the effect of which encourages transcendence of your thoughts (mind) into a deep meditative state. What a week it was – we were introduced to the technique over 5 days and by the end of the week (and ever since), I have been meditating twice daily as per the recommended dosage. And yes, the goodies do come! I mean I’m not about to start writing songs or creating films a la The Beatles or David Lynch (yes, meditators!), but I’m definitely feeling the creative flow at work. As for how I’m managing to keep it up, all I can say is that once you commit to do something without thinking about it, it gets a whole lot easier. The technique is so easy and the benefits so obvious that you start to crave it after a few days of doing it too!
To top it all off, the shared experiences and energy of our little group was absolutely amazing and reinforced for me, the core reason why we meditate – because what are we if we peel back the external layers that we so desperately and unconsciously cling to, our career, our likes and dislikes, our relationships, our identity? We usually meet strangers and within 10 minutes, are able to formulate a vague idea about ‘who they are’ by their clothes and what they do for a living. Yet it was so refreshing to meditate with this group of strangers and be able to connect on a deeper level knowing hardly anything about each other. And in a way that makes sense to me, because there is no separation, no differentiation, only space.
If I’ve lost you a little bit there, just think about this: how many thoughts occupy your mind every day? An average of 70,000. Work. Relationships. Family. Friends. TV. Social media. Public transport. Fun. Food. Study. Pets. Likes. Dislikes. He said. She said. Sunny. Rainy. Late. Early. Appointments. Health. Time. Stressed. Lazy. Past. Future. Telephone… and so it goes. Surely a bit of stillness to create space in that monkey-mind would be a welcome respite?
Image courtesy of Pinterest / original source unknown