I used to envision the act of meditating as a group of eclectic people loudly humming. In my mind, I pictured them sitting in a yoga position on a mat. I’m more of a loner and was spooked out by the thought of meditating. Then, many friends who I was close with kept telling me I needed to change. They all said, “I was getting in my own way and needed to get out of my head.” I didn’t understand what those words meant at the time. Then, life with its peaks and valleys saw me crash off a cliff. I was desperate and, at that point, would have tried anything to reach a mountaintop. I started searching terms along the lines of “change your brain.” I came across results mentioning meditation and mindfulness.
I discovered that Apple Music has playlists and albums that I could listen to in private. As I was trying to pivot my life, I didn’t want anyone to know what I was doing. I feel like there’s a stigma surrounding meditation. I even had preconceived false notions. Nearly four years ago, I decided to give it a shot. After exploring different mixes, I started listening at night. I settled on Guided Meditation and eventually tailored my playlists.
There are nearly 30 different types of meditation, and I have yet to explore them all. The practice itself is proven to offer health and wellness benefits. This Healthline article lists the nine most prominent types and explains them. Everyone is unique, and on different paths, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all. The post helps decipher what form of meditation may be the best for you if you are interested in it.
For me, I chose Theta Wave binaural beats with subliminal messaging. I tailor my meditation playlists to match what I wanted to “manifest.” The guided programs I selected claim to “reprogram your subconscious mind.” Doesn’t it sound like I’ve joined a cult?
As I said, meditation may not be suitable for everyone, but it helps me unwind. I always start with breathing exercises where the artist guides me. “Breathe in. Hold it. Now breathe out.” It relaxes my body and eases my mind, believe it or not.
Since I’ve been meditating, I’ve seen results and improvements in my life. I’ve also learned that some sounds aren’t relaxing. Any track with sounds of birds chirping gets deleted. I associate that noise with morning and starting the day. I haven’t quite mastered life yet but have seen growth in certain areas. I know for sure I had a major misconception about meditation.
Maybe as I get a better grasp of life, I can delve into other more profound practices. Transcendental Meditation, or TM, has been studied by scientists. A practitioner often teaches TM. Ann Purcell, one of Green Dragon’s authors, practices Transcendental Meditation. Her books have sections featuring articles discussing different facets of life and society. Purcell’s positive outlook and views of the world are portrayed throughout her books. The Power of Transcendence contains a vast, refreshing collection of blog posts. She debunks the misconception I had about meditation in The Journey of Enlightenment.
My life is still the ultimate work in progress, but it has improved and continues to do so. Some days are more like a disaster piece instead of a masterpiece. As I continue to grow and develop, I will keep meditating at night because I see results. Progress takes time, practice, patience, and persistence. If you’re looking for instant gratification, meditation doesn’t work like that. I’m by far no means an expert on this subject. I just wanted to share my experience and misconception.
By: Melissa Meade