This is my first year participating in the BYS meditation challenge, and I’m really excited about it because it’s only recently that meditation has become real to me. For the longest time it was a lovely idea that I only experienced for a few minutes here and there, usually before or after a yoga class.
That’s because I spent a lot of years trying to find meditation in my athletic activities. As a cyclist I would focus on my breath, my form, and find that “jedi warrior” state of mind. I used asana to help me stretch, and used breathing techniques to help me focus. It was all in an effort to be a better athlete. I realize now that I was avoiding the hardest part of all– sitting still. Becoming quiet from the inside out. External activities no matter how rhythmic or fluid will always continue to stimulate the mind. Especially if the motivation comes from outside. Once my motivations changed, the practice did too.
So for me it’s been a journey to get to this point, and I’m so happy to be here. Years of running around busy all the time has my mind used to lots of activities. My mind generates ideas quicker than I can act on them. It was only from sitting in Dharma Mittra’s presence that I finally had a breakthrough. His words, “Concentrate on stillness” had such a strong effect that I melted into it. When you’re searching for an experience as elusive as meditation, being around those who truly understand it is key. That’s why I’m participating in this challenge. I feel like if my practice is going to grow, I need to learn from others who are on the same path.
It’s a noble effort to seek a meditative experience through athletic activities, and for years that’s what I did. But there is no substitute for sitting still. It’s crazy hard to sit still. But I’m getting there. 30 minutes a day.
Looking forward to learning from all of you this month.