Like little children peeking their eyes from behind small hands, the thoughts come up and hold my attention. That’s when I realize I’m in the middle of meditation. "Why am I doing this?" I ask, and the simple answer comes just as easily as those thoughts that love to bounce inside my head. I love meditating, but I didn’t always. A daydream hijacks my mind, and I remember what life was like before I started to meditate.
My life was scattered, confusing and misdirected. It was a clear reflection of the state of my inner being. I was in my first year of college when a serious interest in meditation began. The college years are meant to be an exploration into who we are and what we’re meant to do. Unfortunately, it has become a haven for overindulgence and stress. Between parties and all-nighters, the only "light" available to me at that time was the Miller and Coors kind. I didn’t think there was much meaning in cramming and binge drinking, but I did participate heavily in those activities. Maybe there was some universal truth in them I was missing. I didn’t find those truths, and by the time meditation made it into my life, it had become the breath of fresh air I needed.
I read some books and talked to some people. At first, meditation seemed difficult, and it became hard to structure a meditation routine I could incorporate into my life. Like a single flower growing in the desert, I felt all alone in my thirst. My college buddies were happy being hung-over in class, family members seemed more concerned about my grades than my growth, and college professors were distant and uninterested in talking about esoteric practices.
My desire to grow intensified and meditation helped along my path. I tried several different meditation techniques, and each one developed some aspect of awareness inside of me. I felt clearer, more alert, and I began to nurture a deep appreciation for everything around me. I began to notice life naturally becoming more beautiful. This was a huge contrast to a college world where stress and sleep deprivation are king.
I soon realized that inner growth was the key to making the world a better place. This is why my reasons to meditate are two-fold. The personal benefits I feel and experience are incredible. As a business student, I feel an increased effectiveness, clarity and peace – qualities necessary to manage and lead an organization. It’s no wonder why many of today’s CEOs are cultivating their own meditation practice. The second reason grows naturally out of the first. If I cultivate peace within myself, then I will carry peace wherever I go, and everything I do will come from a peaceful place. The world will experience more and more peace if more people become peaceful from within.
Could this simple act bring about world peace? It made sense. Besides, it’s easier to change yourself than change everyone else. And, the best thing about meditation is that you can do it wherever, whenever. It’s like your very own secret weapon. Are you in need of clarity? Calmness? Peace? Break out the meditation practice and 10-15 minutes later you’ve become a new man or woman. By now, this type of awareness was a necessity in my life. Meditation cleans the clutter in your mind so you can function at your very best.
As time went on, I found myself enrolling in Maharishi University of Management, where the entire student body, faculty and staff meditates together twice a day. Between the organic-vegetarian meals served in the cafeteria, the Transcendental Meditation practice and Consciousness-Based education, I have found my dream school. Now my growth and my grades are being taken into account. "This feels right," I thought "but the only thing these parties are missing is the keg." Perhaps I can do without the keg now. Filling up your inner being is way cheaper, and it’ll never give you a hangover.