My heart is filled with joy and gratitude!
My name is Evan and I am a musician who plays mostly jazz. I play the saxophone, flute, clarinet and piano.
When I first started, my goal was simply to get over a “dark period” that i was going through where I couldn’t feel any happiness. It really felt like there was a black cloud over me and I just couldn’t get out of that mindset no matter what I tried to do that had always seemed to work before.
My mentality changed relatively quickly and the clouds moved away bringing sunshine and smiles. There was a surprise when this happened. Playing music became much easier. I was able to change and grow musically and as a result I am a better musician now.
After my very first meditation session I went directly to a performance. I could tell that something in my mind was different that night. I was able to play easier, freer, and without so many thoughts running around simultaneously as I played. It was a slight difference but it was very noticeable for me. I actually HAD FUN.
I continued on month after month with the goal of wanting to grow as a person, and clear out the mental blocks, and issues that I had been holding onto my whole life. This allowed me to just free up everything in my mind. So as I went on playing show after show, I could feel the effects.
That’s the place that I find myself in every day. It is so gratifying and enjoyable. My saxophone seems to be playing by itself sometimes. I can actually enjoy my sound and musical ideas as they are coming out of the horn. I can simultaneously listen to myself play. Before I meditated I was stuck in a self-deprecating and analysis of my playing and constantly chastising myself. But it changed gradually to enjoyment.
Now I feel grateful to the Universe for putting me into a position to play music and make people happy. My heart is filled with joy and gratitude while I am playing.
Musicians are very sensitive to vibes, feelings, and our struggle to tap into our creativity. We need to be free and clear when we pick up our instrument. It is too difficult to play and perform when we have anxiety, depression, fear, what have you.
This meditation allows us to be a better creator, performer, composer, etc. Above all it allows us to be a better person for the world.
I Got Confidence And Stability Within Myself
(Interviewed by Lauren Guss)
How was your life before you started this meditation?
My life was generally very good. I lived in Brooklyn and considered myself blessed with wonderful family and friends. Where I felt lacking was in my career: I feared I wasn’t living up to my potential and was never quite satisfied, so I kept bouncing around looking for that “perfect” situation. I changed jobs frequently but was never 100% content. I eventually realized that no matter where I went, the same patterns, interpersonal conflicts, and insecurities always showed up.
How did you hear about this meditation?
I learned about this meditation through Meetup.com. I had been interested in meditation for quite a while and when I saw this Meetup, I decided to check it out.
What made you curious enough to start?
I had done other forms of meditation and self-reflection long enough to know that my suffering, fundamentally, came from my own mind: the stored memories from my past. When I heard that this meditation was a way to really release and overcome those stories forever, it was music to my ears!
So beautiful, so what was one of the first changes you noticed in yourself?
One of the most profound changes early on was that I started taking things less personally. Especially at work, I had always worried what others thought of me. After a few weeks of practicing this meditation, I had more confidence and stability within myself and wasn’t so preoccupied with other people’s judgments of me. In turn, I could also see the good in those around me, and began to work much more collaboratively.
Was there any time where you struggled in this practice and you thought you just couldn’t continue? What made you continue and why? Were you happy you did?
From day 1, I felt the benefits and those benefits really compounded week by week. Even if I faced some difficulty, I knew there was only one way through it – forward! – and obviously I am tremendously happy that I have continued this far.
What was your most memorable experience with this meditation? The guides, other meditators, anything in general?
From my first visit to the center I was touched by how warm and genuine the meditation guides were. In time, I was able to confront and express things from deep within that I was never able to face before. I think that was the most memorable thing from early on – just feeling extremely comfortable being myself.
Through this meditation, you can get rid of habits. What are some habits that you have gotten rid of?
Prior to this meditation, I used to drink quite a bit. Working in the food and beverage industry, it was very normal to drink, even on the job! Alcohol became my way to unwind from the day and quickly quiet down the endless flow of thoughts. Thankfully, through this meditation, my mind has become a comfortable place to be all the time, so the need to drink excessively has naturally subsided.
Do you feel your life is different from before you started until now?
Yes! Definitely! When I think back to how I felt before I started, it’s like night and day. The joy that I feel, even in just the quiet moments, is such a gift. I find that I’m no longer critical of others, so I can connect with people much more easily. I also have a lot more physical and mental energy now also, so my productivity has really improved.
What advice would you give to someone who is having a hard time making a commitment to start this meditation?
I would say do what I did, and just try it for a month! Put forth the intention to make the most of that month and see what happens. There’s truly nothing to lose.
What advice would you give to someone who has just started this meditation?
Just put one foot in front of the other and celebrate the small wins. Notice subtle changes in your state of mind, and know that those subtle changes will become profound shifts later on. Try to stay consistent and positive and you will progress quickly!
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Just do it! Go for it! Haha. Thank you, Lauren, for this opportunity to reflect on my experience. It has truly been the journey of a lifetime, and I only hope that others get to find what they are seeking as well.
To Healthcare Workers In COVID 19
To healthcare workers in COVID 19…
This COVID 19 pandemic crisis has brought the world many tragedies. Many people have died unexpectedly, including the young and including many healthcare workers who have been in the frontline trying to save lives. We all are being hit hard. Some of us still in the midst of it, with adrenaline rushing no doubt, barely having time to reflect on one’s self. Nobody knows what to expect with this new disease that has spread so fast worldwide and is causing such horrible deaths to our patients. As healthcare providers, I am sure it is hitting us even harder. We studied and trained in our fields for years in order to save people’s lives. And this disease is showing us how little we can do to stop it. It is a war against nature.
Still we have many who are brave, many who are sacrificing, and many who are working hard to find a way to fight this. During this difficult time, I urge all of you to also look within yourselves and meditate. Throwing away our minds full of fear, the unknown, the knowledge that we learned in the past that prevents us from seeing the now, all the anxiety and depression, the trauma, etc. By letting go of these minds that are hindering us, we can be better healthcare providers for our patients and continue to move on without ourselves breaking down first.
We can stay strong for our patients and their families and continue to be compassionate, while having clarity in our minds to make better judgment calls and decisions during this crisis. As a physician who does this meditation method I can truly say that without this method of throwing away my thoughts, living through this pandemic would have left me in a panic and feeling depressed to see all these patients dying tragically and seeing even colleagues sacrificing their own lives. Though I still cry from sadness, by throwing away my negative thoughts and filling my mind with the universe mind, which is always positive and unchanging, I can continue to quickly move on full of energy and positivity and think clearly to make better decisions for my patients and my staff. I am full of gratitude to my patients and fellow healthcare workers. I am hopeful that through this crisis, people will begin to look within their minds, see how much stress has been accumulated, and decide to throw those stressful thoughts away. Let’s start by changing myself first and be the leaders to guide the communities to change for the better! Let’s meditate together! Be safe, and thank you everyone!
This meditation is? “simple and so powerful”
Before meditation, the life I have lived from the outside looked good. Perhaps to the eyes of the people around me I was happy and confident with family, school and work but I was very worried and always felt pressured within. I always had this need to please everyone and was obsessed about maintaining an image for a good person in front of others. I was always hiding behind my fake smiles and heavy make-up, covering myself up to be perfectly good. Through the meditation I realized that this was all because I was so worried about how the world saw me. I was so worried that I never wore white socks or bright colors because people could then see how dirty my feet were. I felt as if the world was judging me for every little thing about me. My insecurities always overwhelmed me that I was haunted with insomnia.
However, reflecting back at my life, the meditation has really helped me see that I was only living inside this bubble. I was stuck inside a place where I cared only about my self-centered views and comparing myself and wanted to become better with my own standards that I had made to myself. Now that I look back at myself, I was so ridiculous! Riddling myself with so many worries.
I have done the meditation from level 2 in Korea, so I have not yet met people that know of the old me. However, even the people here say that from the time I’ve been here that I look brighter. I see my own change too, my insomnia is gone and I dance around in whatever colored socks, without makeup. When I no longer rely on the opinion of others, I feel much stronger and free. The greatest gift the mediation has allowed me is to allow me to see that the world does not spin around me. I have been living only for myself. For me, the greatest part of this meditation is to see reality, the true world, outside of my bubble.
You start to see yourself, the way you are in all aspects of your life
The cool thing about this meditation method is that it has this ability to show you who you are from a much bigger perspective than yourself. It is really hard to see yourself as yourself, so the method has this way of showing yourself from a bigger perspective. Then you get to reflect on yourself on how you actually are and you see things in yourself. And I saw things in myself that I did not realize that I had before the method. I think that is one of the biggest strength of this meditation. Speaking from my own experience, I found it really hard to bring big changes within myself but this method has helped me get rid of my habits and useless negative thoughts.
I am definitely happier now and also just more relaxed. I feel better within myself and that is the best way to define happiness for me. Also, I am more focused. I mean I work with computers and it is important to have patience and really be able to focus throughout the day. I work with my head the whole day, thus it is so important to be able to be relaxed within myself. Not always trying to move, not always thinking about something else, just staying put; and the meditation has definitely helped me with that.
The meditation has also improved me as a husband and father. One problem that I think in many relationships I find is; you have this expectation of the other to give you something the whole time. You want to get something from that person. And I think the meditation has changed that perspective for me and my wife. It is now more about putting in the work yourself without underlying expectations for one another. Also, this meditation has changed the way I see my children. I seem them more as the way they are than I did before as a parent and as a father. There was a certain bias that came with the strong attachment that I had for my children. Getting rid of that, I think you start to see your family in a more realistic way. This is also good for the kids, because they feel that and they feel actually more relaxed around me.
The difference in my life … can be described with one word: Gratitude.
I don’t have any dramatic life story to tell. From the outside, my life looks quite ordinary. I grew up in a safe environment in a suburb in the outskirts of Stockholm. I had friends, a Nintendo video game and everything a kid could wish for. My family was not religious and relatively open-minded, so I was free to make my own life decisions. I graduated from university and got a job at an IT company and thought I would be happy but, in my mind, I was never truly happy. Every time I achieved something that I wanted, I just wanted something else, something more. I was constantly stuck in my thoughts with my wandering mind. I was always wondering, stuck in my own thoughts, asking myself why I had so many thoughts in my head. I tried so many different things to find an answer but everything I tried only gave me a temporary release.
Though very quickly I realized by doing this meditation that this thinking was about myself and the reason that I think so much and why I was so stressed was because I was caring only about myself. For me, I used to carry things that were unnecessary. I knew that ruminations were unnecessary and bad for me but I didn’t want to nor know how to let go. However, through this meditation method I learnt how to truly let go of the worries and thoughts and to me that is true relief.
Now, there is a huge difference between the me before and the me now. Before, I needed so many things in life to be happy. I needed my hobby and I needed to have certain people in my life. I thought I needed a lot of things. Now I have no worries about the future so with this mind I can just live and the universe will take care of things for me. Now I have also learned that when I sincerely care about others more than myself my stress fades away and I now know how to truly contribute to the world. The difference between my life before and after the meditation can be described with one word: Gratitude.
I feel so much gratitude for this meditation, for being able to let go, and for being able to confirm with my mind that I am fundamentally one with everything around me.
Be the change you want to see in the world
I think when I was born I chose 100% heart and zero head. I love people and love to help them. That has been part of my life for a long time and even the success in my career comes from it. However there came a point in my life where I sought for ways to help others but drove myself insane because I could not find a way to help the other. Once, one of my family members was suffering from depression. There was nothing that I could do to help and knowing that I couldn’t help that person brought me to an even deeper depression. However, once I started the meditation, I noticed a change in me. I realized that only I can change myself and only I can help myself. It was no longer about my need to help and improve others but it was more about being an example to the people who require the help. I found a way to show true compassion and love to others by helping myself. Everything I do and want to say in a short version is that ‘live by example and be the chance you want to see in the world.’
When I started the meditation in the U.S., my career grew a lot faster. People were nicknaming me as a “superstar” and I was awarded a title as the ‘Top 5 Person’ within my industry with a promotion of an executive VP. Though my career was successful I realized that my job made me so busy. I knew there were a lot of opportunities for me to grow through the meditation and I knew to gain something I needed to sacrifice something. Thus with a bold decision, I chose to go to Korea to invest in myself and it was not just a gold mine, but a diamond mine. I can see that most people who want to try the meditation are just so busy with their lives, but I wish they take a moment to invest in themselves to find what is that they truly want in their lives. For me, I just love who I am inside right now. The language and food was very different in Korea but it is nothing compared to the depth of the gratitude I have for the method because it has changed my whole entire life. Though the past 4 months of meditation in Korea, I was able get over my traumatic experiences in my past, conquer my phobias, and be free from the health conditions that has been following me all life. Many people tell me that I’ve changed a lot and tell me that I look brighter and younger.
At this point, my heart is full of joy and love and gratitude. So with this gratitude that is inside, I want to give this out to other people now, by being an example.