Meditation Series: Chapter 1 ‘Art of Living’
I started my spiritual journey in 2009 when professionally and personally I was totally screwed up. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally burnt out and needed help. It was not easy. I do not like asking for help. This whole idea that I needed help was alien to me. But the anxiety attacks and migraines, made me realize that it’s high time. And as suggested in many self-help books I tried the most famous medicine for stress – Meditation. And thus my journey began…
My first experiment with Meditation was with “Art of Living” – Sudarshan Kriya, which is a kind of breathing + meditation exercise. I enrolled for a 5-day course with an hour daily spent on both the kriya and the spiritual sessions. Oh my! it was magical. In fact, I have noticed since then, that if you initiate a Meditation technique during a high-stress period, the impact will be drastic and huge. The stress evaporates and then life seems beautiful and optimistic. You can observe the changes happening in the external world. Over a period of time, these changes become more subtle and not very obvious. One meditation course and I was back to my confident and healthy self. It was a miracle!
But due to this sudden spurt of confidence and boldness, I also took some big decisions. I decided to quit the relationship and job. Did I make wrong decisions? Well, I am not repentant, it seems more like destiny when I look back now. Got another job and moved on with my life. Had a few months of relaxing break, and I now have the confidence that I can bounce back from any situation in life. But the sudden change and break-up got me into a deep depression. And this is one of the reasons, I suggest people to go slow after their 1st experience of Meditation. The sudden euphoria and confidence are like, getting too much power without being trained for it. And if you do not continue with the practice, like me, you are left hanging.
Regarding the Meditation – I was able to follow it only for a couple of months consistently as I would forget the count of breaths or would sleep in-between. 😀 I didn’t sustain for long and with time, just became a person who had tasted the nectar once and wanted to try it again. Sadly, that initial feeling or experience is not easy to replicate again. Now I understand why Meditation is like an addiction, where people want to feel that high again n again. Luckily, it is not destructive like drugs. With time and wisdom, I have learned that I don’t need to feel that high again and any meditation technique is effective as long as it is regularly done.
Due to my inconsistent follow-ups over the next 2 years, I went back to square one. My migraine and breathing issues started recurring. They were not as frequent as before, but still, they were a thorn in my side. My career was pretty fine but personally, I was depressed. Stress at Job is easy to handle but relationships are a totally different ball game.
So yeah, it is not the meditation itself that got me into depression, but not continuing it. Also as I mentioned before, one needs to be careful during the starting days. We are not used to sudden drastic changes.
Due to the count involved in Sudarshan kriya, I realized it is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful technique and I suggest it to many people, even my brother. But, I believe that everyone has their own technique which fits them perfectly. Looking for my perfect technique was a new chapter that had already begun.
An excerpt on Art of Living: ‘Art of Living’ is a foundation headquartered in Bangalore, India, and the Sudarshan Kriya technique discovered by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (the founder and a great mystic) has been helping millions of people worldwide since its inception in 1981.