Meditation has been in my life around five years on and off. I’ve tried many different techniques, had several teachers and I’ve done group meditations as well as my own daily practice. For the past year and a half I’ve meditated daily. Many people say that meditation helps them, that they feel different after sitting in meditation. Science also talks strongly about the positive effects of meditation. One of my best friends Sari has gotten enormous help from meditating, she says it has changed her life. The wise often say “Meditate, it is the only way to true freedom and self realisation”.
During the past year I totally lost all connection to the direction and purpose of my life. It has been super scary. I talked about this with my teacher/healer Rauli Pitkänen and he wondered if a meditation retreat would help. He said that in these kinds of crisis people often find help from intensive meditation, as answers and direction rise from within. I remember vividly when some years back I was studying reiki with Rauli and he said “Don’t worry you will notice the benefits of meditation practice in years time”. That didn’t happen to me. What would a retreat do? I already meditated daily and if I am brutally honest I still didn’t notice it having any effect on me.
In the beginning of this year I finally had the guts to admit to myself, that meditation does not help me. I had done it regularly for a while, tried many different ways, short times, long times and in everyday life I had not noticed any concrete benefits. Yes, I’ve had some deep and meaningful experiences in meditation. Experiences in dropping into oneness, bliss and my consciousness expanding. But these experiences have not really helped me in my everyday life nor have I really felt my body or mind relaxing during my daily practice. This has been somewhat distressing as I’ve always felt that life is super challenging. The fact that I am super sensitive with strong emotions might have something to do with it. Since I was a child I’ve had an overstimulated nervous system and it has been difficult to relax. I’ve thought and hoped that meditation would be the practice that would guide me slowly back into my power and give me some sense of ease, so it was difficult to admit that it does not help. I thought “why on earth meditation does not work for me?”. As always, change begins when we admit the truth. I must surrender to the truth no matter how big, small or scary it is, only then the assisting forces can reach us.
Couple of weeks later a friend of mine came over for lunch. She had just been in this event where they explain what Transendental Meditation is and she was thinking of taking the course. I had read a little about it and for some unexplained reason I had a negative association to this meditation. But it caught my interest because Rauli had mentioned the meditation retreat and I had been thinking a lot about my own meditation practise. I ended up reserving a place to an introductory Transendental Meditation event.
Following week I got a horrible neck cramp and went to see my osteopath, who treated me with craniosacral therapy. After the treatment he said that he could feel that there was this kind of fight or flight stress mode going on in my brain and that my front lobe could not come in and calm the situation. He said that this situation in my brain has been going on all my life. When I left I felt somewhat desperate, I didn’t know what on earth I could do to fix this.
Few days later I went to the TM-event. I was super sceptical. I told the teacher straight up that I’ve meditated a lot and that I feel like it has no effect on me. We watched some videos and the teacher told us about the technique. Everything was very much based on science and nothing like I had imagined in my preconceived negative assumptions. I was blown away when the teacher started to show us brain pictures of a person who suffers from chronic stress and she explained the exact same thing that my osteopath told me few days earlier about my brain. She talked about how with this meditation technique you can change the brain functions so that the brain can let go of chronic stress and how you can heal from traumas, that have happened even in the time we were in the womb. The technique was new to me, I had not meditated in that fashion before. A way where you go along with the minds own natural nature, without controlling and trying, without trying to force the mind into a certain focus. I had this strong sense, that it wasn’t a coincidence that I was sitting there in that moment, so there and then I booked myself into the course that was starting in few weeks time.
Now I have practiced TM-meditation for about three weeks. I do it by sitting in a comfortable position eyes closed twice a day for 20 minutes at a time. And it works for me! Since the very beginning I’ve noticed in a very concrete way how my body and my nervous system relaxes every time I meditate. I am used to take two hour massages because it has been one of the only ways to fully relax and unwind. Few weeks back I had the same physical experience from 20 minute meditation as I get from a two hour massage, that is pretty awesome. It’s easy to be motivated when one gets concrete results. Actually I don’t know how I been so patiently doing a practise that didn’t work… how stubborn can a person be!
We are nine participants in this ongoing TM-course. Some of us have meditated a lot, some never before and we’ve all had very similar experiences with it. This meditation has worked for all of us. I’ve noticed that I am more within myself and able to take life with more ease. In the course they also provide one on one teaching in addition to the group work and I’ve found this super useful and reassuring. It’s only been few weeks and it is so interesting to see what the benefits will be in the long run.
Problems with the nervous system are beginning to be very common, especially with us living in bigger cities. City life is full of stimulus from morning to night. Some years back I spent two and a half months at a summer cottage in a forest without visiting a city. There I realised that living in nature has an enormous effect on my nervous system, it just relaxed my whole being for free. To get this same effect I have to work quite hard while being in the city.
I am very grateful to have found Transendental Meditation, that I found a technique that works for me. Luckily there are huge amounts of different relaxation techniques for everyone to find their own.. Here is a link to TM if you want to check it out or read more: https://www.tm.org/. One healer that I’ve seen for some years said to me, that I just have to get used to the fact that I have an over stimulated nervous system. I have to say that I don’t agree with her anymore.
With ❤️ Amira