Healing effect of conscience and patience

Here’s an opportunity to share your own Headspace Journey with the rest of the community. Maybe it’s changed your own life or maybe it’s changed the lives of those around you. We’d love to hear about your own stories, the trials and tribulations of learning meditation and your experiences of applying that to everyday life. Let us know your thoughts.

Healing effect of conscience and patience

by ppacca » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:49 am

The moment you experience a great improvement on your subjective quality of life, without any meaningful change in your practical conditions, is ideal for reflection and to draw somewhat clear conclusions about what you've been doing to get that result. And besides sharing my thoughts in this blog (www.vaphil.blogspot.com), I've been meditating non-stop for the last month and a half or so. I've always believed meditating could be very beneficial, because it has been scientifically tested (using functional MRI). Anxiety drops, concentration improves, there's much more mental clarity and even happiness. However, for you to feel these benefits mentioned everywhere, it's necessary to persist for a certain variable period of time.

I used to be really anxious most of the time, which made it really hard for me to stop and sit with my thoughts and feelings for a brief while (even 10 minutes). Plus I was too often worried about how well I was meditating. Thus I used to obsess I couldn't feel any of the benefits because I was doing it wrong. However I've kept trying new courses, music, podcasts, you name it! But for some reason it was really hard to keep the meditation routine.

The reason for the big change was satisfaction of the need for gradual transition. What has solved the matter for me was Headspace. It's funny to say that, but I think this was the first time the author of a meditation method really took the meditation mindset into consideration in its development. In other words, this program has included a great deal of information about meta-meditation, meaning all the conditions and internal situations that can help or disturb the building of your habit of meditating. It's very interesting to observe how deeper this guy went on assessing all the possible difficulties and feelings people would face in meditation, even in several different levels of expertise.

Yes, principles of meditation are really simple. Actually they are so simple it can be quite frustrating not to be able to master them in a reasonably short time. Problem is that these principles go in the exact opposite direction of everything we learn to do mentally for living successfully in the western civilization.

Therefore, it shares the intrinsic difficulties of overcoming a mindset you're not even aware of. Suppose you've lived in a social context that accepted the Earth was the center of the Universe. This idea also works for explaining the most basic and observable astronomic phenomena. However, more careful observations will demonstrate that assumption is basically wrong. But besides grasping the arguments and facts that prove this point, people have to struggle with a certain social mental inertia.

Post relativity theory folks usually feel very enlightened from birth, which makes them a really easy pray for this mental inertia trap. So it's not really surprising that someone who is eminently western in education will have a great deal of difficulty in practicing meditation, even when realizing the underlying principles make a lot of sense.

Headspace creator has been very smart in starting explaining the proposed journey into this activity using many figures of speech to explain meditation principles. This is very useful because it brings the eastern and the western mindset closer to each other. It actually uses western common facts of life for building analogies that function like bridges or stairs to reach a different higher perspective.

Another advantage is that, different from most self-study meditation methods, it provides company and guidance. More than that. It offers a gradual framework for you to transition from your initial super anxious and tense western mental background to something else. So you have the chance to experience small steps with which you get increasingly comfortable and gradually practice different aspects of a mental life you sometimes didn't even know existed. This is very common in physical training, but it has been brilliantly applied in training the mind instead.

Because of all these characteristics, the method helps you to build a habit quite quickly. And then your brain basically does the rest, because it absolutely loves habits and routines and often forgets about the time when you didn't have the habit yet. Then the benefits start showing up. Somehow timidly in the beginning. Then all of a sudden, you're able to naturally handle the most difficult issues in your life.

There are basically two conclusions to be reached here. First one is that no matter how obvious a method, a fact or a process really is, rationally explaining it, or even providing hard evidence to prove it's valid doesn't necessarily generate a deep level of understanding and acceptance. The second concerns both my own journey into self-acceptance and the one I really want to bring the rest of the world along with me. The fact is it took me more than thirty years to understand my life in a different perspective, even though that perspective is really beneficial for me, especially at the personal level.

But even if this new perspective about my disability, and disability at large makes total factual sense, and my strong belief I have all the right arguments to convince people around me to incorporate it, this might take a while. That said, I'm under the impression it can become faster and more efficient if meditation becomes a habit for more and more people.
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