experiences of a meditator: addiction, acceptance and more

Recently I received an email from a student of meditation – it was such an interesting overview of her experiences, that I asked her if I could share these. She kindly agreed to an anonymous sharing. I have edited her comments and arranged them by areas of interest in order make them easier to digest. They give a fascinating and inspiring snapshot of how Vedic Meditation has impacted her life.

How meditation has helped with addiction
I’m a different person now, as I went into recovery four months after the first meditation retreat and since then have worked the 12 Step Programme… (I had) a profound spiritual experience and continue to through prayer and meditation.

The process of “coming to” from a disease of isolation, to opening up to life on life’s terms, is full of highs and lows (more so than any drug) and meditation has been my companion throughout it all. It was meditation that opened my eyes to recovery as it brought my addiction out of denial and into my consciousness where it had nowhere to hide. Being able to practice meditation from day one of my recovery was truly a gift as it’s helped smooth out the potholes on the road less travelled.

Notwithstanding meditation, learning to live without one’s crutches is scary and takes a lot of adjustments so I’ve always stuck close to the AA programme and considered the combined practice of the meetings + meditation a mainstay of my spiritual well being. I heard in a meeting the other day, someone say that the difference between then and now is that they’re less hysterical, less of the time. I certainly related to that little gem.

I don’t want to focus on the negative aspects of this too much, but when you do open up, you should expect some ghosts to come out of the closet and that’s a good thing. Ghosts notwithstanding, I’ve had some moments of total bliss and continue to do so.

Increasing creativity
Firstly I have found that my creativity knows no bounds and I am more confident in expressing myself. The ideas keep coming and I keep writing them down.

Improved relationships
My tolerance and patience for myself and others (I am my own worst critic) has grown. In building a relationship with myself, I have begun to listen more to what I refer to as my “little voice”, the loving part of me. Loving kindness is a very powerful thing and the impact it has shouldn’t be underestimated. My friends and family have opened up; and I to them, and the feeling and energy of love that passes between us has become very special. I have also found myself being more honest with them and saying “no” in a loving way, not going out of my way to please them, and this has also had an effect. My relationships are now more genuine as I’m not afraid of letting people in anymore, in fact I let them in with an open heart.

Connection to the world around us
… My experiences with nature have been deeply moving. Colours and the sounds of nature “pop” and my pets are more receptive to me. It’s like a giant bell jar has been lifted off and I can go out and touch, smell and see nature at it’s most glorious. The way I experience nature gives me peace of mind and deep joy, the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. My only regret about coming into recovery and practicing meditation is that I can’t share it with my parents who have both passed away but nature gives me the opportunity to connect with them on an unexpected level which is very comforting.

I am way more funnier than before (no, honestly, it’s hard to believe but true) and when I laugh the feeling comes from the pit of my stomach through my heart and my laughter rings out and feels GREAT.

Acceptance of what is
For all of the above – even the difficult bits, I am deeply grateful. I have to go through “it” to get to where I’m supposed to go and if “it” causes me emotional pain, let it be. It means that there’s something wondrous in the next room.

I hope you enjoy reading this email as much as I’ve enjoyed finally writing it – I’ve been meaning to do it for so long – it feels great to see the words on the screen and feel measure of who I am as a result of Vedic Meditation and recovery.

P.S David Lynch
Finally, I’ve just finished listening to David Lynch’s audio book “Catching the Big Fish” where he used a great analogy. When you’re flying and the crew present their safety demo, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping others. I just loved that, because without this practice of taking care of myself and meditating, what use am I to anyone?

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