I’ve been meditating on and off for maybe ten years now.
Even before that, my parents had brought me to the local Buddhist temple to learn about the practice and the philosophy. I didn’t think much of it then. I just thought that it was an innocent practice that people do when they have too much time on their hands. After all, you are basically just sitting there “doing nothing”.
But the temple resonated with me and I slowly began going to their weekly Tuesday meditation session and discussions. I still mostly didn’t know what I was doing, but I gained an interest in these types of groups, where we get to reflect and talk about the deeper meaning of life in general.
The monks and nuns over there would recommend that I meditate consistently every day, maybe just for 20 minutes per day. They gave me some good tips on how to properly meditate. Scan the body. Focus on your breath. Give wandering thoughts no mind. And I followed them to the best of my abilities.
At first, I didn’t see much of an impact. Sometimes, my mind was a bit all over the place during each meditation session. Sometimes, I would float around in thought and cogitate, which was something that we were advised not to do. I found myself wandering every time I tried to focus on my breath. And I didn’t feel all that much physically or mentally better after my meditation session.
But for some reason, I kept on going to these discussion and meditation sessions. I still enjoyed it somehow. It still resonated with me. Even though I couldn’t exactly explain why. But the years passed. And I grew more accustomed to that temple. Made some good friends and tried my best to give back to them whenever I had the time and energy available.
However, the meditation practice was honestly still on and off. Sometimes, I would do it. Sometimes, I would not. Eventually, though, I gained a true appreciation towards meditating in general and I continued to find ways to improve this practice.
Just a few years ago, I began attending philosophy classes at a different school in NYC. And that group practiced meditation as well, albeit with a slightly different strategy. Instead of focusing on the breath, they would repeat a self-given mantra repeatedly in their mind. I went to their upstate retreat four or five years back and they showed me in person how to perform this practice.
I did it and I have to admit that it felt good. But then, I didn’t pay it any more mind for a couple more years. I completely forgot about it in fact.
Fast forward to last year and COVID is now a part of our lives. I still found time to attend these online philosophy courses on a weekly basis, and the tutor would give a free meditation tune-up to every student that attended this course on a one-to-one basis. I attended this tune-up and found myself picking back up the practice.
I can’t really explain it, but since then I’ve been more consistently meditating on a daily basis over the course of last year. And by now in 2023, I’ve been meditating twice per day for around 15 minutes each session. And I must admit that I can sense real results in terms of greater peace of mind and mental clarity than before. Having said that, the purpose of meditating is not to gain any form of “results”. The purpose is just to be.
So, as of now, I am continuing my practice every morning and every afternoon to the best of my abilities. Occasionally, I would skip a session here or there. But, I’ve tried to incorporate meditation into my daily habits because I feel that it does have a positive lasting impact when practiced in a way that resonates with yourself.
In reality, I was introduced to meditation over 10 years ago by my parents and only now am I seeing some genuine fruitful results. But still, sometimes you just need to plant that seed in your mind and let it grow at its own pace. And I’m thankful that my parents planted this seed for myself. Because I have experienced its tremendous fruits.
Sometimes it takes years or even decades for a seed to come to fruition. It takes patience and a willingness to let the natural order grow and bloom without the need to rush or hurry. The path to growth is a long and winding road. Rarely is it ever so linear and ideal. But sometimes, you just need to wait it out and see where the path takes you. See how those seeds that you planted years back grow into fruitful results.
So, now is the time to plant those seeds for yourself and your community. Plant those ideas. Plant those projects. Plant those productive thoughts in your mind. Let it nourish your soul and grow at its own pace. Try your best to water it every day and, within time, see how the results could quite possibly compound to extraordinary levels.