Reporting back after a month of daily meditation
It has now been a full month since I started meditating every day, and I have a lot to share. Although I had experimented with meditation before, and loved it, I was never quite able to cement it into my daily routine. After experiencing a spiritual awakening while camping in the New Hampshire White Mountains, however, a lot changed. I discovered a newfound happiness in being alone with my thoughts, a genuine compassion for all other living beings, and, most importantly, an understanding of the Buddhist concept of emptiness. I faced the difficult parts of my ego: shadows my conscious mind actively attempted to suppress. After, I felt rejuvenated and discovered my life purpose of defending Mother Nature.
Despite this profound awakening, however, a lot remained unanswered. Or, perhaps, the awakening showed me that true wisdom acknowledges the fact that we never stop learning, and there will always be more to learn. When I arrived back in my college dorm, it was almost natural that I started meditating every day. It was no longer a task on my to-do list, but more-so a relaxing reward for being a human in this difficult world. Over time, it only became a more natural facet of my existence, and mindfulness began permeating the rest of my life. I learned how to walk with mindfulness and to appreciate our deep, spiritual connection with other life forms. It’s difficult, but you’re not supposed to take the next step until you are fully present and grateful for it. It’s not surprising that such an attitude benefits your overall happiness.
What was holding me back from the life I desired? For starters, I didn’t think a genuine happy life was possible in this bleak world. So, yes, I was depressed. It felt as though there were no purpose, except perhaps to get rich and die. Quite frankly, that felt like no purpose at all. Looking back, I was going through a period described as the ‘dark night of the soul,’ the last stage before a spiritual awakening. Meditating every day, focusing on one chakra per day, allowed me to truly realize which parts of my body I was neglecting. I desired to be healthy, yet I was smoking cigarettes and eating terribly. I desired a companion with whom I could explore Boston, yet the time I had alone was spent wallowing in the dorm. I desired good grades and a college diploma, yet I was skipping class and submitting homework late.
I desired love, yet I didn’t love myself.
One chakra at a time, I allowed myself to examine what was holding me back from the life I desired. My root chakra showed me that I am safe, and that deep breathing can convert anxiety into a positive, creative energy. My sacral chakra taught me not to fear death, for life is an unending phenomenon. My solar plexus chakra told me to never hide my true self, and in turn the right people would be attracted into my life. My heart chakra showed me how to compassionately love all living souls, and to be fully present when others are present with me. My throat chakra gave me the confidence to try any creative pursuit, because ‘I’m not good at ______…’ is a terrible excuse not to try something. My third eye chakra told me that it is okay to trust my intuition, and that just because society says something to be so, it doesn’t mean that it actually is. Finally, my crown chakra brought me in tune with the surrounding life force, a comforting energy always present in my life.
These lessons I learned were always there in my subconscious, but I avoided them because my ego was afraid. It’s not surprising that we shy away from the side of us in which we aren’t proud. And it doesn’t help that society as a whole tends to stigmatize the ‘shadow self’, turning the mere act of challenging the ego into taboo. All it took was thirty minutes a day, and the willingness to go as deep as my mind would take me.