& This is What Happened to Me.
Practicing meditation for the last nine years has changed my life in so many ways and really it’s changed my entire perspective on life. I’m going to let you know the benefits, the how-to’s and urge you to meditate every day because I can tell you this all day but it’s really something you have to experience for yourself.
So let’s talk about meditation and get into the podcast episode. Then we’ll go into a guided meditation at the end so that we are fully prepared and going into it with the right intentions.
For so many people I think there are so many preconceived ideas around how to meditate if it actually does anything for you and what it really is. Some people think it’s just fufu or new-age pseudo. And others will try it once and say they didn’t feel anything or their mind was wandering too much or they can’t sit still. There are so many reasons that people can think of as to why they think it won’t work for them.
However, like most everything in life meditation is experiential and its effects are accumulative. You can try to think about it and rationalize it but the only way to really know and gain the benefits is to do it and experience it.
Like anything you want to learn you have to train yourself and continue to repeat it over and over again to become a master. In this case, you are learning to master yourself.
What is meditation?
So what is meditation really? To put it simply, meditation is the practice of focused concentration. Just that simple definition alone says a lot. You are practicing focused concentration on the inner workings of yourself.
But It’s so much more than that. Transcendental meditation teacher, Bob Roth, explains how the mind is like the ocean, in that the surface of the water that’s moving and choppy is like the conscious mind and the deeper parts of the ocean are like the unconscious mind. And with meditation, you are able to calm the choppy waters of the conscious mind and reach while reaching and calming the unconscious mind.
Yes, you will have thoughts and your mind might even be racing but your concentration is not focused on your thoughts. Although your conscious mind is still thinking, you are simultaneously tapping into your subconscious mind. And with practice, you will be able to quiet your mind and go deeper within yourself.
Let’s talk about the conscious and subconscious minds. We all have an idea of what the conscious mind is, it’s the part of our mind that we use when we’re in the waking state that we are aware of. The fact of this awareness makes this what is called conscious. The dictionary describes it as, “aware of and responding to one’s surroundings; awake.”It is the awake thinking mind that is doing all the doing.
But what about the subconscious mind? The subconscious mind is like the deep storage space part of our mind that is only controlled by our conscious mind. It stores all the thoughts, emotions, memories, etc. that have happened in our lives. Experts say that we actually live up to 95% of our lives through our subconscious programming.
The Conscious & Subconscious Mind
In episodes 31-34, we read the book The Feeling is the Secret by Neville Goddard which talked about the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind.
He writes, “The conscious is personal and selective; the subconscious is impersonal and non-selective. The conscious is the realm of effect; the subconscious is the realm of cause. These two aspects are the male and female divisions of consciousness. The conscious is male; the subconscious is female.
The conscious generates ideas and impresses these ideas on the subconscious; the subconscious receives ideas and gives form and expression to them.
By this law – first conceiving an idea and then impressing the idea conceived on the subconscious – all things evolve out of consciousness; and without this sequence, there is not anything made that is made. The conscious impresses the subconscious, while the subconscious expresses all that is impressed upon it.
The subconscious does not originate ideas but accepts as true those which the conscious mind feels to be true and, in a way known only to itself, objectifies the accepted ideas.
Therefore, through his power to imagine and feel and his freedom to choose the idea he will entertain, man has control over creation. Control of the subconscious is accomplished through control of your ideas and feelings.
The mechanism of creation is hidden in the very depth of the subconscious, the female aspect or womb of creation.
The subconscious transcends reason and is independent of induction. It contemplates a feeling as a fact existing within itself and on this assumption proceeds to give expression to it. The creative process begins with an idea and its cycle runs its course as a feeling and ends in volition to act.
Ideas are impressed on the subconscious through the medium of feeling. No idea can be impressed on the subconscious until it is felt, but once felt – be it good, bad or indifferent – it must be expressed.”
So keeping this in mind, we can see that the subconscious mind is very powerful and truly the source of the creation of our worlds. Most of us think we are acting and responding from our conscious mind when in fact the conscious mind only accounts for about 5% of brainpower.
What basically happens is our conscious, rational mind gets in the way of our subconscious mind that if well-tuned is the direct source of our intuition and inner knowing. With meditation, you’re able to calm the conscious mind so that it makes only a positive impression upon the subconscious mind which then goes to work to express what was impressed upon it.
When your conscious mind is running amuck and you’re thinking all kinds of uncontrollable random thoughts and worries, it is impressing all kinds of craziness on the subconscious mind which the subconscious mind expresses and generally manifests as depression, anxiety, and other issues.
As Goddard explains, “The subconscious accepts as true that which you feel as true, and because creation is the result of subconscious impressions, you, by your feeling, determine creation.” Definitely check out those episodes to listen to the entire book. Or pick up the book here on Amazon.
Creating a Daily Practice
I don’t remember the first time I heard of the word or concept of meditation, and I have no memory of anyone in my family growing up who meditated or anyone even close to the family.
But in 1998 I had a spiritual awakening, and at the time I had no clue what to do because as I mentioned before in episode two, there was no Youtube for easy access to vids of people going through what you’re going through.
However, I was online, I had a little DYI computer a friend made for me. And I was online all the time, but it was a dial-up connection so it was very slow for pages to load. And at the time for some reason, it didn’t occur to me to look up online to see if anyone else was having this experience. Which now I know for sure there were.
Eventually, I did start to look up things of a more spiritual nature but it definitely didn’t start out that way. It was a couple of years later, sometime in maybe 2000 and I was living in Atlanta and that’s when things really shifted for me.
I found this esoteric book store near my house and the owner would recommend all kinds of esoteric books for me to read so all I did was go to work, get off of work and read books. I didn’t even have a TV or furniture because all my things were still in Cali.
After reading all these books on spirituality and knowledge of self, most of them pointed to meditation. By this time, I had all of my things and my place was fully furnished. I knew I had to start meditating.
The First Time
I remember trying it for the first time sitting there on my bed alone in the silence, I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breath. After about five minutes I couldn’t feel my body, it freaked me out so I quickly opened my eyes. I remember thinking whoa wtf, that’s kinda weird and scary where did I go?
So I didn’t really try again for a while, in fact for years and years but it was always in the back of my mind. I would read up on the different types of meditation over the years. I then had a friend who had learned Transcendental Meditation and was practicing that back in 2006ish.
But I didn’t start to actually try to practice meditation until probably around 2009 after my mother passed away. I would try it here and there but I could never really make it a habit and stick to it.
Then in 2010, I started practicing yoga on a regular basis and it always feels like a moving meditation to me but the last five minutes at the end in Savasana is like a little piece of heaven.
I knew I had to at some point get serious about practicing meditation. It was in 2012, after practicing yoga on a regular three to four times a week before I started to take meditation seriously and make it a daily ritual.
I knew when I started I would need a regime to follow to help me keep the habit. So I started a 21- day meditation challenge that was a free email program given by Deepak Chopra’s wellness institute.
The program helped me establish a daily routine, they would send out an email every day with a 10-minute guided audio meditation. And there was a new meditation every 21-days so I would just start the new one over again. I did that for at least 6-8 months every day for 10 minutes in the morning.
Then they stopped sharing the program for free and I was like oh no! By the way, I believe that program still exists and is back to being free. Anyway by this time, there were a few meditation apps out and I chose the Calm app.
I was going it alone without a guide. I still started with 10 minutes but using just sounds like ocean waves or rainfalls and a gong ending timer, they have all that in the app. Eventually, I increased it to 15 minutes with sounds and a timer.
Then I eventually just went with 20 minutes of silence and a timer concentrating on my breath. This is a form of focused awareness or mindfulness meditation. And I stuck with that every day for a few years.
Until finally sometime around 2015, I started doing 20 minutes twice a day. I always kept in the back of my mind that I wanted to learn Transcendental meditation even before my friend told me about it pre-2012.
Then in the summer of 2018, I finally went to the nearest TM center and learned from an amazing woman who she and her husband had traveled with the Maharishi and had both been teaching the technique since 1972.
From the very first time of learning and doing the technique that day, I could feel a difference in the type of meditation I had been practicing all of those years prior. There is a profound difference.
Now, three years in, I feel better than ever and I’ve had tremendous breakthroughs within myself and so much more. And this is why I never miss a day. I understand, especially now after so much time has passed, that it is a cumulative effect.
Yes, you can feel a difference in your day and mood and more with just even one meditation session so imagine the build-up of that over time.
The Top Seven Things I’ve Noticed From Long-Term Meditation
This brings me to some of the things I’ve noticed in myself after meditating every day for the last nine years.
1). I am less emotional and more focused. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been an emotional person, I am also a crier so I’m not saying that has totally changed. However, I’m way more emotionally calm than ever before. I still have emotions but I’ve noticed I’m not as quick to upset and when I do I’m quicker to calm down.
2). I’ve had a loss of interest in entertainment, news, politics, and popular culture, I mean I keep an overall eye on what’s happening through Twitter trends or major events. But I don’t watch the news or too much TV and every now and then I’ll watch a film or binge on a series. I like to spend my time reading, listening to audiobooks, watching lectures and documentaries, and overall gaining knowledge. Where I used to spend 95% of my free time on entertainment, now I spend 95% on gaining knowledge and learning about myself.
3). I’m able to focus for longer periods of time on whatever I’m doing. Sometimes, I have to tell myself to stop because I know I’ve been reading or focused on something for a little too long without taking a break. I’ve also noticed my mind is much clearer and able to comprehend what I’m reading or listening to much faster.
4). I’m able to listen and stay in silence more. Yes, I can get very chatty at times, especially if I’m talking about something I read or something that really interests me, like meditation or yoga. But I’ve noticed my ability to really listen, empathize and show compassion has heightened and just be more present in the moment.
5). I literally feel more at peace than ever before in life and I only seek out peace. That’s not to say, I don’t have life problems, I do, but I also have an inner knowing that everything always works out as it should so I don’t have to worry. My perspective has changed on life and I’ve become a more positive, less angsty person.
6). My creativity has definitely soared and I continue to harness more each day. This podcast is an example of something creative that’s come about more recently since starting TM. And it’s leading me to create a spiritual-based business that is more aligned with my values and helping others in a deeper, more meaningful way.
7). There are so many more things I could list but I’ll end it here. Meditation has helped me become a better version of myself and I feel more comfortable in my own skin and more like my authentic self. For years, I had this pit of worry and sadness in my stomach and that is gone. I get excited but I’m not as excitable and angry. That’s not to say that things don’t make me angry and I never react. But it’s less and less and I’m able to control it more and more.
Now I’m not saying meditation is a cure-all. For some, it may take some extra help to even get to the point of being able to meditate simply due to the nature of our society and how being quiet is almost shunned.
And if you need extra help, like prescriptions or therapy that’s ok but ultimately you want to be relying on your higher self, or your inner voice, whatever you want to name it, it’s your intuition. Meditation is helping you clear all the noise so you can hear that inner voice within you that always leads you on the right path.
Let’s get into the podcast with our 5-minute focused Shift, right now.
And on that note, I think I will wrap it up here. And until next time, what do we do? We must do the inner work and create a shift in our own consciousness which will create a shift in the collective consciousness. That is the goal.
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Until next week, Real Shifters, go within and make a real shift happen.