It was more than three years ago that I discovered meditation. I still remember the doubt in my mind as I sat down to meditate for the first time: why am I doing this? I could be doing all those hundreds of things on my “to do” list. But I am just sitting here, in the middle of the room, with my eyes closed, doing nothing. The only thing that motivated me back then was the Peace Revolution Fellowship in Thailand that I would attend after completing 42 days of self-development program. So I did it. After coming back from the Fellowship, it turned out to be the most life-changing experience ever – now I wouldn’t skip a day without meditation.
Imagine yourself on a beautiful paradise island. You are watching the sunrise while doing yoga, eating delicious Thai food, meditating four times a day with around 30 people from all over the world, interacting with Teaching Monks and learning from their wisdom, doing different activities throughout the day that help you be mindful and see goodness in others and yourself, start noticing your habits and realize how lucky you are to be alive. You are not allowed to use electronic devices and internet, but you don’t need them, and it makes your mind feel fresh and free. You follow the discipline and wake up at 5 am for the early morning meditation, and you find it exciting and doable.
We don’t usually have these experiences in our daily life, do we? We are busy with our work, studies, personal life; we often think that we need to achieve more, earn more and possess more to be happy. But is that true? Can external things make us happy? For how long? The Fellowship in Thailand was about leaving all the desire, greed and ego behind. In fact, it was not about learning something new. The designed program, the discipline, the opportunity to be disconnected from all the worries and problems back home was all about returning to oneself: pure, happy and free.
Lost in India
Before the Fellowship, it was already some time that I felt lost in life. Despite having a good education with a great background in journalism and abundant project experience from all over the world, I felt that there was something more than that. I certainly knew that my life was not about going to an office and doing a job that I didn’t actually like or following the patterns of society and starting a family at a certain age. Therefore, having finished all my assignments in Europe, I went to India, the country that I loved and where I had worked as an English teacher before. I wanted India to somehow show me the direction, perhaps give a job that I would enjoy, find a place where I would stay and solve my problems. I was disappointed to find out that nothing was falling in my hands as I had expected. I struggled to find a place where to stay (moving from one place to another almost every day), my money was running out, no jobs came to me just like that, and my knee started to pain reminding me of an old injury that I had not fully fixed back home. With a desire to become a published writer, I realized that this would not bring me any income leading me into more uncertainty and worries about my future, about what I wanted to do in my life. When looking back at those days, I am grateful that it was exactly this moment that I joined the Peace Revolution Fellowship in Thailand and started a journey to my true self.
One may wonder: why is it necessary to find ourselves? What is there to discover, when we already have a family, job, personal life, hobbies that we enjoy. At some extent we know who we are. But is it our true self? Do the labels that we wear define us? Are they permanent? We never know when we are going to lose our job, end our relationship, change our status in society or on the contrary – get a new job, start a new relationship or move to another country; we want it or not, everything in this world is changing, and nothing is forever. This is why the external factors that happen to us, the roles that we play and the labels that we wear, even the thoughts that we have, – they do not define who we truly are. Life keeps on changing all the time, so the quest for the true self and for more purity is never-ending. This is why meditation for me is this amazing tool that helps to stay aware, that allows to stop and observe, that connects me to my personal space, my inner salvage where to return and where the truth lies. Once this happens and I have meditated, it is easier then to stay mindful about every passing situation and make sure that I act in the best possible way at each given moment of my life.
Sharing with others
It doesn’t mean that after the Fellowship, my problems got solved. I would still have my busy “to do” list, and I would still sometimes feel lost searching for answers. What has changed is the way I look at life and the way I do those things on my “to do” list. With meditation, I give more meaning to everything I do, I let go things that I cannot change and I approach problems with a positive, solution-oriented attitude. And though it is not always easy to remember it amidst daily responsibilities and busy routine, I know that at the end of the day there is something to return to, something that matters the most before everything else shall happen – meditation and my inner peace.
After completing the Fellowship in Thailand, I joined the Peace Revolution project as a Peace Coach and later became a meditation and mindfulness trainer (Peace Architect). Now as I sit down to meditate, I feel a totally different motivation. I want to take care of my mind. Moreover, meditation has become my mission: I want to share it with everyone wherever I go.