My Little Meditation Story

The first time I tried meditation was few years back when I joined a retreat group in order to restore my health and learn about wellness. I learned that there are many benefits to meditation and the requirement are simple. One just need to sit down, relax, clear your mind, and breath normally. But it turns out way more difficult than I thought. It was a very painful 15 minutes of ‘sitting down while waiting for the 15 minutes to end soon’ experience. The more I try, more things were running through my mind and I got so very easily distracted by any small movement or sound from the surrounding that I gave up before time is up. My breathing was also getting out of control since you are supposed to breath normally but I realized that I am taking too ‘purposefully’ deep breathing after a while. I am basically restless. I was trying too hard.
The benefits of meditation are many. First and foremost, it teaches one to calm one’s heart and mind. I believe that this is very necessary especially in our modern society when we are so used to fast food and express lanes (speed and efficiency) in our daily lives. It is very common for people staying in modern society to keep pushing forward, trying to achieve more, to want more. It is important to learn to slow down, to look within and appreciate ourselves, our loved ones and our environment, what we have achieved. Simply put, what we have at this moment.
After many tries (few years of irregular practice), I only managed to sit for 15 to 20 minutes a session each time. I am still having the same problems as I had experienced during my first meditation. I am not going anywhere with meditation but I was not concerned since it is something that doesn’t appeals to me yet at the same time, I was perplexed why I am not able to sit and enjoy the quiet and peace it supposedly comes with since I am a pretty calm person.
The breakthrough came when I was mediating during a retreat at a resort in Brunei. I was amazed when the 30 minutes session ended and I don’t feel movement of time at all. Time seems to have come to a standstill during that 30 minutes, yet as I think back, I feel that I am ‘there but not there’. I felt good, energized, calm, happy, contented. I was not bothered by my legs getting numbed. In fact, I don’t feel or hear anything during that short yet forever 30 minutes. It gives me confidence to try harder to achieve the same state again although I had not had the same experience since. Through this experience, I realized that being calm does not equate to quietness of mind. To be able to stay focus for me means being able to appreciate what I have achieved at the moment. And the way to achieve it is to keep practicing. There is no other way around it!