Yesterday was a full day of meditation, discussions about meditation and receiving our personal mantras to use during meditation – specifically Primordial Sound Meditation.
We were told that PSM (Primordial Sound Meditation) is the easiest to teach to Westerners and where one should start their meditation practice.
Through various charts and testimonials we were told about the benefits of meditation. According to the Chopra members, meditation can cure everything from insomnia to cancer. I get that meditation relieves stress and that stress is detrimental to ones health but some of the claims felt false.
I can’t help but remember Steve Clark, my ex-husband’s mother’s third or perhaps fourth husband. Steve was a sweetheart. In his mid-seventies he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given a year to live. He wanted to fight back so turned to Eastern medicine. He meditated. He chanted. He took all sorts of herbs. He maintained positive thoughts and visualized the tumor in his head shrinking to nothing. When, seven months after his diagnosis, he was barely able to move and had to be put into a care facility he told me, through tears, that he had failed. He blamed himself for not being positive enough, not chanting properly, not believing as wholeheartedly as he should have. I was mad as hell that this sweet guy was not only dealing with the end of his life but with guilt, all because of the overblown claims from Eastern medicine which he accepted as truth.
All that aside, I promised myself to be open minded and to really take in the experience this weekend – all skepticism shelved.
I did feel very relaxed after the guided meditation. I enjoyed the yoga classes and the discussions of our physical bodies and our spiritual selves (our souls). These are topics that don’t normally come up in conversation over the water cooler.
We met a woman who was on her own so we included her in our group so she had company. She had just learned that the cancer they’d found in her breast hadn’t spread, that they’d managed to get it all out (without her having to have a mastectomy) and that she wouldn’t need chemo. She was convinced that the stressful life she’d been living brought on the cancer. I think genetics and environment probably had more do with it, but if meditation helps relieve some of her stress and makes her happy – fabulous!
Here’s one thought they wanted us to take away from today’s session which I’ll share with you –
“You are not your thoughts – your true self is in the gap.”
Meaning, when you stop overthinking everything and striving toward some goal or another, when you are able to be quiet and still and at one with the universe – just being, not doing – then you are in the gap. Through meditation you can find that stillness which will allow you to know your true purpose and be your true self. It is only in finding your true self that you can find real happiness and fulfillment.