Meditation: the Ancient Medicine of the Future

It’s certainly not a coincidence that both the words ‘medicine’ and ‘meditation’ come from the same etymological root: the Greek prefix “med”, which alludes to a medium point in between two opposites or, in other words, to that subtle state of balance we hear so much about in health blogs and yoga lessons but rarely get the chance to truly interiorize.  In this brief post I’ll share my experience of meditation as the most effective, universal and low-cost medicine I have ever tried.

AN ORDINARY CURE FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE

I first started meditating two years ago after finding myself caught in an emotional turmoil that could have easily led to chronic depression. I had basically been sucked by apathy and indifference whilst scary suicidal thoughts started to glimmer under the surface. For a creative individual such as myself (I’m a performing artist and a yoga teacher) having lost the will to live was absolutely unimaginable. Yet that was my uncomfortable reality: I was lost, unbalanced and ill. Furthermore, I had no practical tools to resolve these issues and no energy to commit with any ‘positive’ initiative.

One day a friend shared a link to the Peace Revolution website and I started their self-development program. As I said, I had no expectations or ambitions at the time; hence, sitting down quietly for 30 minutes was actually a nice idea. I decided to give it a go. To my surprise, just after the first days of doing it, small but significant changes started taking place. I:

– Started sleeping better and waking up with higher energy levels.

– Stopped having headaches and nightmares.

– Recovered my appreciation for life and reconnected to my spontaneous sense of kindness towards my friends and family.

– Became more grateful.

– Felt fresh, motivated and ready to undertake new projects.

Light within, light without
Light within, light without

Long story short: meditation came to my life as a life boat in the middle of a shipwreck; a true medicine amidst the obscure pharmaceutical market that could have easily poisoned my body. The anxiety slowly disappeared whilst my cells recovered their innate ability to heal and restore their natural state of health. It’s actually not that far out: if you think about it, meditation has been around much longer than painkillers and modern medicine. Personally, I’ve started to approach meditation as an ancient technology that’s accessible anywhere, anytime (no WIFI required). I wouldn’t say it’s free because it does require some discipline and commitment but it’s definitely low-cost compared to other options offered by the “wellness” market.

SO HOW DO I START? 

First of all, just try to drop that heavy baggage of expectations and start by finding a comfortable spot where you can give your mind some rest. Everything else (meditation’s scientifically proven benefits) will start happening on its own: higher immune system, lower stress and blood pressure, etc. (You can google those.) No need to try hard, no need to obtain immediate results. Just close your eyes and enjoy spending a quiet moment with yourself.

Dreamer
Dreamer

From my experience, I wouldn’t suggest forcing yourself into meditation just because it’s ‘positive’, ‘healthy’ or even ‘trendy’. Just try it as a means to stop your mind from some of the destructive mental behaviors that have suddenly colonized our everyday life: self-judgment, restlessness and radical dissatisfaction.

Vietnamese monk and poet Thich Nhat Hanh says it beautifully:

To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem.
To meditate means to observe.
Your smile proves it.
It proves that you are being gentle with yourself,
that the sun of awareness is shining in you,
that you have control of your situation.
You are yourself,
and you have acquired some peace.

On a practical level, several things have changed for me after practicing meditation on a daily basis for almost two years. Back at that time I had an ordinary unfulfilling job in my home country, Colombia, whereas now I’ve moved to London to pursue a masters in Dance Therapy thanks to a couple of scholarships I won. Apart from my studies, I work as a part-time yoga teacher and have started my own brand of Multidimensional Therapies. I also volunteer for Peace Revolution and its on-line meditation platform, an amazing project that has allowed me to travel to Thailand, be trained to guide meditation by the coolest Buddhist monks and meet amazing people from all over the world.

Meditation retreat Mooktawan Thailand
Morning yoga session, Peace Revolution Meditation retreat Thailand

2015 is already here and it’s a good time to remember that even the smallest changes in our mental habits may amount to big benefits in our lives. Meditation may sometimes feel like a silly practice leading nowhere. Fair enough. However, I do guarantee you will start becoming aware of details that you were previously unaware of. Want to know what I’m talking about? Well, guess you’ll just have to find out by yourself…

Daniel Matallana

www.danielmatallana.com

2 Replies to “Meditation: the Ancient Medicine of the Future”

  1. Hi All,

    I just want to share my thoughts.

    The tumultuous experience was a part of my journey that drove me to realize new forms of learning. I formulated my thoughts and ideas with grace and conviction. The search for my truth revealed an inner invulnerable strength of spirit which was at first, incomprehensible even to myself. From where was my courage to stand against the oppression coming from? Realizing the inner being is neither an easy, nor a light hearted exercise, although it does have its lighter moments, as one realizes that we give tyrants more credit than they deserve in oppressing us! We allow ourselves to be oppressed as we are passive in our acceptance of their ill-deserved authority. If we lose our sense of the inner being, we are likely to succumb to a tyrant’s will.

    Autonomy of ones’ spiritual inner self is imperative to realize true freedom. New meditations on ones’ inner being is the way to inner peace, I realized in the depths of my loneliness during my tribulations. Under house arrest and detention, I gave pause to redouble my efforts at realizing my inner being. This learning experience taught much to my untrained inner being as I endeavored to re-learn and reevaluated the purpose of my life to discover the true self as I spoke without fear and with strong conviction and belief in defense of freedom. I was heartened and enamored by with the discovery that others’ were equally strong in their convictions and open to my idea of freedom as we learn to speak with a new voice that is both strong as well as tolerant of others; that is humble, yet knowing of others’ weaknesses. Detachment from the ignorance of others allows us to delve deeply into our inner capacity to define and experience our inner blissful state in self-realization. Renewal of spirit comes alive in our search as we discover who we really are.

    Upon realizing the true self, we express the natural genius and open our minds to feel the flow of life energy as it courses through us. By experiencing the life form in its true creative genius we connect to our body, mind and spirit as it was meant to be. The learning from our inner experience in meditation allows us to know who we are. In meditation, we reevaluate life and are inspire ourselves to experience more fully our best selves.

    Have a great day!

    you can also check out my website at http://www.iamthechangeiseek.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *