“Why am I so calm right now” I thought to myself, as the flight attendant finished the announcement letting passengers know that the airline had lost all of their luggage, “I should be freaking out right now, what’s happening?”
The first time we start noticing the benefits of mediation in our life can be a strange experience. The first time I noticed a change in the way I related to life happened in an airport of all places.
Ahhh the airport, the place responsible for 90% of the stress and frustration in my life. Of all places to find serenity, this was the one I least expected, but it just sort of happened.
After getting of a flight from Boston to Chicago, we were told all of our luggage had been lost. Around me there were people screaming, crying, and swearing. Not a happy crowd. However the anger and fear I was expecting never came. I felt at ease, peaceful. I know that they flight attendants didn’t lose the bags on purpose, it wasn’t their fault and they weren’t out to hurt me. This was probably the result of an honest mistake. It was just stuff, it could be replaced and of course the airline has procedures in place for when this happens.
Two weeks of meditation was finally showing in my life. Two weeks of sitting quietly counting my breaths and scanning my body. What was the benefit? Instead of panicking, I was calm. Instead of hurting someone’s feelings, I was gracious and understanding. Instead of being angry and vengeful, I was patient and accepting. I didn’t waste energy fighting something I couldn’t control.
The benefits of meditation are not always obvious, they can’t always be measured or pointed out; but in that moment, I knew that all of the time and energy I put into this practice was absolutely worth it. Feeling happier, calmer and being a nicer human just takes ten minutes a day? I was hooked instantly.
Starting a practice:
Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to embark on this process; the only answer is really just to go for it. There are many types of meditation, chanting mantras, focusing on your breathing, imagining a beam of light shining on your face, concentrating on a candle flame and many, many more.
I began with a phone app which gave guided meditation practices of various types. There are a large number of apps available and we will do our best to rate and recommend our favorites in a future article.
Chi Tip: I once heard a great meditation coach response to the question of “what’s the best way to start a consistent meditation practice?” his answer: “start a consistent meditation practice”
The bottom line is that what matters is that we start. Like all new activities, it’s not likely we’re going to be perfect from our first try. The point is to begin trying, we will learn and grow with any attempt we make on this journey.