Meditation and Going Home

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I just finished my morning meditation session, which I have been doing consistently for the last 11 months, and somehow, I feel excellent.

Last year around this time, I decided to give mediation a real go. I wanted to find out what’s behind all this mind-stuff everybody is talking about.

I did a bit of research and ended up using an app called Headspace to get myself into a daily routine. I wasn’t sure what to expect but at the same time excited to find out how meditation will affect me and the things I do.

I am a very goal-oriented person, and almost everything I do is towards a specific goal. At the same time, I am also fully aware that my mind is continuously sabotaging my efforts.

This comes out in negative feelings, raving emotions, which causes unpredicted actions and reactions. For example, I might have had a perfect day, achieved the things I wanted to achieve, only to get into a verbal fight with someone about ridiculous things or somehow felt just really unsatisfied with myself and everything around me.

I can’t explain the reasons for that, but it was a regular occurrence, and it annoyed me. It came to the point that I thought there must be something wrong with me.

Maybe I should get a check-up. I wasn’t the kind of person who talks about these things to others. In my mind that would have tarnished the perfect picture, I was trying to present to the rest of the world and myself.

I started with a 10-minute session per day first thing in the morning. Nothing much happened. I just spent 10 minutes concentrating on my breathing and the physical aspects of my body.

Sometimes my mind would wander off towards the things that bothered me, and as soon as I realized, I pushed it away and returned to concentrating on my breathing again. The first two weeks were uneventful, and I didn’t feel it had any impact on me at all.

I do have this 3-month rule for almost everything I do. Whenever I start something new, I will give it three months consistently and willfully engage in it. After three months, I review the results and then decide to continue or not. I applied the same rule to my meditation.

After about four weeks I got a bit concerned. It is difficult to apply a rule if you don’t know what the expected outcome should be. I mean, what should happen? What is the goal?

I spoke to many people about meditation and the impact it had on their lives. All of them were telling me about the changes that have happened since they started to meditate. I didn’t feel any difference at all. It was just something I did every day.

After about two months, I had extended my meditation time to 30 minutes per day as advised by the Headspace app, and I realized that I was looking forward to my meditation. I couldn’t explain it. It just turned into something familiar.

I still didn’t think it made much of a difference in my life. It felt more like finding a great place that does a delicious cup of coffee and going there every day to relax.

You don’t need to have a good reason to get a good cup of coffee. It is something you enjoy, and in my mind a luxury I don’t want to miss. I love coffee far too much.

After three months I realized that it didn’t make that much difference to my life, but I enjoyed it and decided to continue with it even without really knowing why.

I am always in search of great baristas who can create this fantastic art out of coffee, milk and any combination of it. With the same motivation, I started to find ways to meditate in the most unlikely places, like the metro or bus or in the middle of a busy coffee shop.

One day I realized that I was able to meditate almost everywhere. I was able to concentrate on my breathing, my body, the sounds, smells and lights around me at any given time.

I could jump straight in it. I love that feeling of really being there, fully engaged, able to separate the noise around me. It felt like a safe place to be.

It felt and still feels like a place where I can just be me. Something I call Home. In this place, I don’t have to think. I am in the middle of it all, and everything is just about me. I realized there is no goal in going home. It is a place where I can be, no need to pretend, to lie or be judged.

When I go there, all the stress of the day disappears. I can laugh, cry, be and feel good about it.

When was the last time you went home?

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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