When I first started meditating all I knew was that I wanted to be more genuine. I wanted to stop looking back at past actions with regret, saying to myself that that’s not me.
I wanted to stop those habits that seemed dishonest: I was an athlete who smoked, a pacifist who fought, a happy person who yelled. I wasn’t making any sense and in search of a remedy from my negativity I only ended up berating myself whenever I acted ‘dishonestly’. My life had become an exhausting mess of contradictions.
Finally I stopped fighting it all, let go, sat down, and opened the lines of communication. I started with group meditation once a week and a daily practice I tried to keep as consistent as possible. For three months I missed few days and never two in a row.
If you had asked me then how meditation had changed my life, I would have denied any change at all. I had never felt any of those profound life altering moments, I continued to have difficulty keeping focused on my breath. I began to think that this practice was doing nothing more than making me wake up at the crack of dawn, and so gradually it became easier and easier to let my discipline slip from my fingers.
Eventually 3 weeks went by without any meditation. I thought about doing it every morning but could never bring myself to get up, until one morning waking up and unable to get back to sleep I popped out of bed and returned to my meditation. Did it go well? Not in the least. My mind wandered and I could hardly keep focused on 2 breaths in a row, but I finished the allotted time and though I was a little disheartened I was happy I had finally sat down.
I ate a nice breakfast, got dressed and left for work. As I walked and thought of everything I had on my plate that day I realized my mind had wandered and so brought myself back to the moment. This happened at least three more times that day. Once I was agitated at being bumped, another as I waited for a late bus, and finally at work when I couldn’t stop looking at my watch. All three times I noticed that I had lost myself to thought and was able to return to the moment.
I realized that it was the meditation. Though, the changes were subtle, it was actually doing exactly what I wanted it to do, it was bringing me closer to my genuine self, my only true self, the me that exists right here, right now.