What is the difference between me before, and now – after meditation?
I used to be less friendly, more introverted. This has not basically changed, but I have no abhorrence for society, or company any more. I still seek and enjoy solitude, but I’m generally, (by other peoples admission) friendlier, more willing and cooperative, more open and expressively affectionate, more honest with my feelings, and ‘easier’. I was not described as like able before, but this was more due to a strong introversion, shyness, and some rough edges and shades of slightly greater aggression. I was more fixed in my ways and opinions.
I’m clearer headed, less distracted, calmer and as a result think a little deeper, feel a stronger intuition (I simply mean that all the data makes a coherent whole inside my mind, not necessarily in a conscious way, and helps me to reach more naturally through the clutter of opposing possibilities to a simpler approach to whatever solution I am seeking). Once again, ease has come over my thinking.
I seem to get ill less often. In fact, much less often. Not to boast, but just to state the way it is, I have less colds, less issues with change of weather, have far less generally off-health days, less fevers, less infections, less communicable diseases. I would say my immune system seems to be in better shape. I can’t glide over everything, but I seem to stay quite well most of the time, thank you! Also, sickness lasts a shorter time, and generally I get repaired quicker – or so it seems. This is a great relief.
I find myself much more closely aligned with how I am feeling. Previously I was quite oblivious of my own thoughts and feelings, they seemed to break the surface from the deep impenetrable waters of my unconscious, but now, I’m a little more in touch, even predictive, and sometimes my sense of self does not seem like such a mystery. I must admit though, this is an area in which I see constant improvement, constant insights, as I go through my life, now with meditation as a part of my life.
A little elaboration:
Spending time by myself, meditating, has a wonderful and enjoyable effect. Whatever is in my heart or head, ‘plays itself out’ within my own mind-body. The results, the implications, the associations are all experienced directly within and by myself. So, I have an experience I can rely on – a direct experience – of what is happening to me in my life. This is a wonderful thing – this directly and personally perceived result is empirical – I verify it by by my own observation and experience – like a scientific experiment. I get to know it myself – nobody needs to tell me.
I find out on my own person. This is very satisfying. Now, I experience. I find out. I know.
And that is why, we often hear interesting words, (which are actually quite true) about how meditation is a ‘journey’.
If you will allow a little poetry – A path towards light. Towards awareness and knowledge, towards ease and engagement. And then further!
In this way it is a journey towards a more deeply engaged and deeply experienced life. I would say everything is the better for it! The world becomes less of a problem, and more of an opportunity.
But perhaps in some way, you knew all this, or guessed it, or gathered as much.
But you really do not have the time in your life, for yet another practice, yet another thing to do, and another improvement? There’s work to be done, and responsibilities, and so much going on, really!
In response, I can only share my experience. What I have noticed is that meditation:
Makes me need a little less sleep,
Keeps me sharp (things are done faster and with greater ease)
I tire more slowly, and to a lesser degree, and recover faster
And much more seldom losing my precious days to illness
And because of the heightened engagement, things are more fun too!
So really it’s great to get so much payback for the effort that I always feel it pays back more than it takes from me.
On the other hand not meditating makes me tire more easily, less attentive, more distracted, less engaged, more tense and ‘closed’, and honestly – much less fun to be with!
So, that brings us to our next question – what IS meditation?!