Meditation, Well-being and Levitation
I started meditating recently. The short version of this story is, it’s good. The long version is more interesting.
My history with meditation goes all the way back to my earliest memories. My parents were both involved in a movement called Transcendental Meditation and I remember them regularly shooing us away so they could sit on the bed quietly. It’s one of those things that doesn’t strike you as strange when you are a kid, but then you grow up and realize that your experience was unique.
One time when I was kid, I was cleaning out the garage and I found a bunch of old TM posters they had stashed in there with photos of people floating in the air cross-legged. That struck me as weird. Apparently, there was a whole “yogic flying” thing that’s a part of TM. They teach people to hop in the air with their feet folded above their knees and then shoot a photo at the height of the jump to make it look like they are floating. Apparently, the idea was that if you attained perfect meditation mid-hop, you were supposed to hang in the air without falling.
Despite being aware of meditation for my entire life I never got curious about it until recently. I got the sense that there were more practical applications to it, you know, besides levitation.
I’ve spent some time reading about anxiety disorders, since people close to me suffer from them. Along with physical exercise, meditation came up repeatedly as a tool to help to curb anxiety, even in extreme cases. I’d already experienced clear mental and emotional benefits from physical exercise, so it made me wonder how effective meditation might be for my own issues. Especially since meditating was a far smaller commitment than going to the gym. When I decided to give it a shot, I asked a friend where to start and he sent me this video.
It’s 2 minutes long and it’s fun:
I’m constantly surprised at how quickly a 10-minute timer passes while meditating. Over that time my whole body relaxes noticeably, my breathing slows and my mind settles down in a way I’ve rarely experienced without chemical aid. When my mind often feels like a pot of boiling water and meditation helps to turn down the heat. It feels excellent.
I’m still right at the beginning of this thing, so I don’t want to oversell my experience yet but I’m excited to keep up with it. It’s the easiest self-improvement practice I’ve ever embarked on. My goal is to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day, every day. Especially during times when I’m struggling to concentrate or if I’m feeling emotionally overwhelmed. My hope is that by cultivating this habit, I’ll feel increasingly comfortable being present and in the moment. I want to do that so I’m less likely to recede into unproductive habits, but also so I can just be happier more often.
If you want to give meditation a shot for yourself, I recommend giving it a try right away. You aren’t going to become transformed as a person, (at least not overnight) but I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes you slightly happier.
Pete is an independent artist and the creator of Angelarium (www.angelarium.net). His passion lies at the intersection of art and entrepreneurship.