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Meditation is choosing peace over chaos.
Who knew, like Noah, I would start building my ark a year before the pandemic. Everything was flowing well, and no one in their wildest possible dreams might’ve seen the world fighting an invisible enemy in the form of the novel coronavirus in 2020.
This happened exactly a year before the hell broke loose in everyone’s lives. My life was in full swing. I had finally found my life’s purpose—to become a writer. My vision and goals were clear. I had started blogging, writing columns, and was about to put my plan of getting published, into action, when the “COVID-19 apocalypse” happened.
Plenty of questions started whirling in my head. Why me? Why now? What’ll happen next? None of my whys had any answers. Suddenly, my life had come to a pause.
That’s when my lifeboat, meditation, came to the rescue. My aim was to make peace with my situation, alongside coping with depression. I wanted meditation to help me reflect upon my situation, and pull me out of the negative space I was dwelling in.
No fancy yoga poses, but simply sitting quietly on my couch or the floor, with my eyes closed, and being observant of my breaths, reminded me of my mortal presence on Earth, which in itself is a small fraction of the entire universe.
I was personally experiencing, Eckhart Tolle’s, The Power Of Now. No kidding!
I could feel a sense of gratitude building up inside me. The false misconceptions, judgments, and stigmas attached to my condition slowly started to fade away, as my Zen mode kicked in.
When I look at this year, I strongly perceive the year 2020, to be the year of pause, meditate, and reflect.
I’m not trying to romanticize these turbulent times, for I also know that meditation is not a cure-all. Neither can it mitigate our suffering, but a calm mind is a powerful tool to help assess a situation better, build resilience, and emerge stronger.
One of the most prominent examples in recent times is that of the 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach being trapped in a cave for two weeks in 2018, and how they survived by meditating in the cave before they were rescued. This is the power of meditation—it can help us stay calm and centered, even in the wake of a storm.
Here are my three simple steps for daily meditation:
Start by setting aside five to ten quiet minutes for yourself every day.
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed. Inhale deeply, filling up your lungs with air, and count silently until five. Then, exhale slowly until the count of eight.
Repeat two to three times.
2. Repeat step one, and start visualizing a beach, ocean waves, a mountain peak, sunrise, or perhaps, any imaginary environment that makes you feel joy.
3. End by expressing gratitude for every little thing you have in your life—good health, food, home, family, friends, money, a job, and more.
To dive in a little deeper, there are quite a few Apps and YouTube tutorials these days, to assist with your meditation practice. However, meditation, like any other activity, needs commitment and faith on our part, and to allow ourselves to flow.
With meditation, I learned acceptance, which eventually helped me heal. I finally found my way back into life, with the confidence to walk with my chin up. My heart chakra was open, and there was no remorse. I received more clarity upon how I want to steer my writing career and my life in general. I started networking and pitching, and finally, I got my work approved and published in some prominent online magazines.
In yogic philosophy, “Sat-Chit-Ananda,” a Sanskrit term, describes the nature of reality, representing “existence, consciousness, and bliss.” It guides us to have a wider acceptance of life events and situations, to stop beating ourselves up for the things that we cannot control, and to stop swimming against the tide.
This year has presented itself as an opportunity to pause, meditate, reflect, and heal—to experience sat-chit-ananda.