I first meditated in my early 20s.  I never stuck with it until around 20 years ago when it became an essential part of my life.  I will confess that I did have a period of time when I was grieving that I could not meditate…..but I am happy to say that I have returned to the practice.  I cannot overstate how important a part of my outlook on life is fed by a routine time of going into the silence.

When I was younger, I think that I was often disserved by many meditation teachers who were in essence a type of fundamentalist about their process.  In their minds, the way that they taught to meditate was the “one and only true” method…..you had to sit like they said, use the mantra or breath process that they said…..there was no room for varying.  Their strictness coupled with my overly charged expectations as to what I was going to “experience” through meditation set up to “fail” and stop practicing.

Eventually I learned that you have to find the process that works for you and not take it so seriously.  You have to let go of your thoughts as to what you are going to experience through the process and simply allow it to be what it is going to be.  Eventually when I simply surrendered to practicing, my experience of meditation fed me at new levels and encouraged me to continue on.

Meditation allows me to relax and enjoy the world.  It reminds me to find love in my affairs, to have gratitude for my life and my experiences, to see oneness and an interconnectedness in all of the world…seen and unseen.  My joy in life grew to new levels.  I highly encourage everyone to find a meditation practice that works for them.

I often wonder what the world would be like if we all meditated?  Can you imagine a world where all of the governmental leaders, those in the media, every public influencer of every shape and style started each day by anchoring their awareness into something greater than their egoic lives….greater than the pettiness of their issues and concerns….that saw the interplay of all of life and the value of every person?  Wow, that would be a nice world to live in I think!

Recently, Jimmy Fallon asked Deepak Chopra to lead a short meditation on national TV.  Jimmy, the band, the audience all went inside for a couple of minutes….watch the video, its a neat experience to see in comparison to the hectic “entertainment” we are usually fed.  What if such practices set the tone for all that followed?  What then?

Mark Gilbert