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My Journey with Meditation

by Awanee Joshi

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Meditation was something that I had always heard about since I was a child. I would always picture it as something only the enlightened Sadhus do on a Himalayan mountain peak. I had never come across anyone practicing it until I was in my undergrad when my friends took a meditation open elective course. I was intrigued by it then, but I never felt the need for it. After a year or so, there came a phase full of frustrations, pain, and anger. Nothing was going the right way. I struggled to find an internship, my relationship was a mess, and I had started disliking myself. Living away from my family made it worse. I kept feeling insecure about who I was and if people would accept me. I am also a very private person, and I find it challenging to open up about things that I think are personal with my friends and family. Also, being from a country where therapy is not typical and sometimes even looked down upon, it was never something that crossed my mind. So I spent two years with bottled-up emotions, insecurities, and no answer to what I should do about it. It was a phase where I cried in almost every moment that I was alone. One day, I came across a meditation workshop that my friend told me about, and my journey with meditation started. Here are a few realizations I’ve had since I started this journey.

1. Meditation is not something you’re going to get right the first time you do it.

When I started my journey, it felt like meditation was just a few breathing exercises I was going through every day. When I asked my friend about it, she said keep at it, and you’ll understand. And sure enough, after about four months of trying it on and off, one day after a demanding but satisfying day at work, I was finally able to get to this phase of feeling vast, and to me, that’s what I believe is meditation. I also realized it’s up to my mind when it wants to get into that space, and it doesn’t happen every day. Like any other skill, it needs consistency to get comfortable with it.

2. Meditation isn’t about transforming you into a new person.

The first misconception I had was that meditation would change me as a person. I would suddenly become an extrovert and gain some worldly psychic knowledge. Meditation actually only helped me accept what I was thinking and feeling. It helped me look at my thoughts and emotions as part of a scenery I was witnessing. That not only helped me accept who I was as a person but also gave me some perspective about what I really care about. In a sense, it helped me get to know myself better.

3. Meditation can happen in many ways

The first time I realized I was in the state of meditation, I also realized it wasn’t the first time I was doing it in my life. I remember I felt the same vastness and clearness one day when I was practicing dance at home in eighth grade. It was when I could feel my body and expressions move and catch every beat, almost like it was second nature. I never really thought about it then other than it was something that felt good and made me feel fresh and energetic. It made me miss dance, and I regret not practicing it anymore.

My journey so far has helped me get to a better mental space. It has helped me reflect and know myself better. It has enabled me to accept who I am and also given me the feeling of joy. Though this is just a start for me, I hope I keep at it and bring some positivity that I feel meditation has given me into the world every day.

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