From where and how I was raised, meditation, mindfulness, inner happiness are topics I had never heard about. Raised in one the cities in the Philippines where the culture is more focused on other things, I had to have at least 5 reasons come to me before Meditation presented itself. I have just started the journey. I have a long way to go. But once I turned the knob towards the direction of meditation, I knew there was no turning back. And here are my 5 compelling reasons to start meditating…and why maybe you should, too!
- Unanswered Questions. Back when I was little, I had these nagging questions. Some were answered simply; others were answered with finality and I was not allowed to make follow-up questions. The more there were finalities, the more I wanted to ask. Questions that start with “Why”, such as Why do people go to Catholic churches, while others attended non-Catholic masses? Why was I lashed with the belt even if it wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t given an explanation? Why were we made to understand that parents were always right, and that I couldn’t reason out when I thought I was just doing the right thing? These “why’s” still echoed in me. In fact, the unanswered questions may have hardened some parts of me that built up a rebellious side. This leads to reason No. 2.
- Excess Baggage from the past. Apart from the questions, the Elders surrounding me had their long rooted beliefs that founded their way of “disciplining” youngsters like me. Those limiting beliefs, as Tony Robbins had labelled them, created rules that cannot be broken. And I could not question or counter because I would then be tagged as insubordinate or ungrateful. For example, my father left my family for another woman, but underestimated my ability to understand and accept. There was no sincere effort to explain. On the contrary, the Elders around me reprimanded that I should just study hard. There was no lucid correlation, nor was there motivational support or loving assurance. Nothing really positive out of the situation. Just like many people, the lumps in my throat and bottled silence formed a perfect formula to create an excess baggage that I had to carry to the present. 1 and 2 lead to my reason No. 3.
- Temper. As I have observed myself over the years, I had temper flare-ups when there was obvious or spiteful discrimination or disrespect to me or to others, especially the meek. I got easily annoyed at people who attacked me for doing well. Although I readily melt when I see people who are hungry or are helpless. Temper is one of the many things Meditation can address.
- Judgment. Filipino humour has generally evolved into the self-deprecating type. And that is because we also tend to be judgmental about everything. Self-deprecating humour has become a defence mechanism and so you disparage yourself first lest others start the bullying spree. I am guilty of this, but usually for humour purposes only. But sometimes I am also guilty of judging people who have mocked others. Still, meditation is ALL of THREE THINGS: Watchfulness, Relaxation and Non-Judgment.
- Fear and direction. Perhaps as a result of accumulation of reasons 1 to 4, I had a feeling I had no direction. There was a strong sense of finding where to go, what is the right path, how can I know myself more and be better. I had the same fears that most people have – fear of dying, fear of getting sick, fear of losing income, fear of getting old alone.
Meeting a Mentor was one of the best things that happened to me. I read his blog posts on Personal Development and this created a spark. I came to him for the meaning of transcendence. He ushered me to the realm of Meditation. Back in December, he had me do some anger management techniques. I was hesitant at first; I fought back at my emotions and doubts. And then slowly, there was progress. This Mentor guided me through meditation techniques he himself had practised for a long time.
Small, baby steps, even up to this stage. I still have flare-ups, but I am more aware of them. I revert to meditation before the day ends. There is more understanding of myself now and of life and of death. And there is wider room for forgiveness…and acceptance…and awareness.
I do not expect a 360-degree change in myself in the short-term, but through constant meditation I am having a deeper and more profound understanding of my life, and I am so grateful for the reasons that pushed me to start this life’s journey called Meditation, a Passionate Affair.
Follow me in this lifelong journey and learn more about Meditation! With that, I leave you with this beautiful quote that my Mentor, Chris Borrett, has forwarded to me: