I was sitting alone on a hot July afternoon in my apartment. This was 4th of July. I wasn’t sure what to do. It was too hot for comfort inside. I had recently chanced on a blog online about Meditation. There was even a link to a youtube video, where Jon Kabat-Zinn gave a mindfulness talk at Google. I didn’t understand Mindfulness yet. In fact, I was not very interested when watching the video. This is how I was back then.
But I still wanted to meditate. This was a stage in my life where I was lost. Yes, I had a job, and I lived in a comfy apartment, but I was too afraid to take chances. Too little motivation, too many mental obstacles. Social anxiety was all over. In fact, this was a culmination of years of a lifestyle of living shut in, inside my head, shy, dull, no passion. But I was smart. Intelligent. I knew how to analyze.
Anyways, the blog struck me. There were some links to the science of meditation, which I didn’t bother to understand. But the blog said meditation practice helped the writer find intuitive solutions to several problems in life. Find confidence and live an authentic and healthy life. This was too blatant to ignore. Seriously what is out there which helps you in all areas of your life. I could have tackled specific problems in my life one at a time, but I didn’t have patience. This attitude, as I later on learned, is exactly what meditation gets rid of. But I was in need, and meditation without much clarification was the only solution to my life. I didn’t know how, but it didn’t require me to step out of my home. On this hot afternoon, I finally had a passion. Although I was still shut in alone, clueless, I had light.
And bam, I found answers to all problems in life! No, not back then. Patience. Strangely complete hopelessness was not a bad way to get started on this path. When you have nothing, you are open to new things.
And this is how I understood meditation back then. Breathe. Sit still. Something happens. Something magical happens. My back hurt, my legs went numb, and breathing was not easy. I tortured myself to sit in a cross legged position for half an hour, may be 45 minutes. It hurt but felt good. Was it placebo? I didn’t know whether I was doing it right. I didn’t have the social confidence to go out and ask.
One of the things I read in the blog was to relax with every breath, and so I did. It felt good. I felt lighter. I cried. Thoughts about life came, and I felt weak in my knees. I didn’t understand it back then. There was a feeling that this is good, even though I was crying.
Several days went by and my meditation practice was still raw. But I did it everyday. I had no confidence but I had passion.