Last week, Deepak Chopra was on Oprah's life-changing show "Super Soul Sunday" speaking about inner peace, abundance, happiness, and how it can be attained through meditation. He offered viewers to take his 21-day meditation challenge – though I think it’s funny to call it a “challenge” when it is the most peaceful, least challenging thing you can do- and just see how it changes your life. I signed up.
I’ve meditated on and off since I was 20 years old. At that time, I was following the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda ( read Autobiography of a Yogi in college, and was hooked). I meditated 45 minutes every morning and every night, and fasted every Monday. Back then, mostly I just fought with my young self in every meditation--got mad at myself for having such noisy thoughts, mad at the world for distracting me. I didn’t reach any state of nirvana, but I still think it was good for me. I meditated the whole time I was pregnant with my daughter Cristen, and I believe it made her the strong person that she is.
Since then, I’ve been faithful, fallen away, then come back to the practice many times. I’ve busied myself with other “more important” things (than my own inner peace…imagine that!)
It was meditation that led me to my writing career. It was through meditation that all my ideas for my nonprofit organization came, as well as all the plans for the workshops and programs. It was through prayer and meditation that I found my biological father. So how have I let it slip from my life again?
Deepak said that prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening. This is the perfect time in my life to listen.
So I began this daily meditation on Monday, and this is how I’ve been affected by it.
Monday: After meditation that morning, I had a career setback. Something I had waited for months to happen, fell through. Normally, I would have been crushed by something like this, but this time I didn’t get upset. I trusted that it was only a temporary setback, and still felt positive and hopeful about my project.
Tuesday: On election day, I seemed to be the only one in my circle of friends who was relatively calm. Four years ago I was kind of a wreck, but this time I knew everything was going to work out, and it did.
Wednesday: I found myself feeling peaceful toward people, even when they were posting angry post-election rants on facebook. I didn’t take any of it to heart.
Thursday: I began thinking a lot about the fractures in my extended family, and what I might do to heal them.
Friday: In prayer, instead of asking for help, I found myself asking to be of help.
Saturday: feeling a deep yearning - to fix the messes in my life, to bring my grandson Ayumu home, to HEAL. There is that still small voice coming through, and though it whispers, it is becoming too loud for me to ignore.
I don’t have any clearcut answers to solve my problems yet, but I will continue with this challenge, and see what comes of it. I feel like changes are taking place, even if I can't see them yet.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
In the meantime, If you’d like to take the 21-day meditation challenge yourself, the link is here. Deepak sends you a guided 15-minute meditation every day - a recording with gentle music and his voice. And it’s free. What have you got to lose?