For those of you who can vividly remember the ’90s, you may be familiar with “The Sunscreen Song,” by Baz Luhrmann. Sometimes I fantasize that one day, maybe 20 years from now, I’ll be giving a speech to youth in some kind of setting. And in that speech I’ll borrow the intro of that song, and tweak it into my own. I’ll use that as an introduction today, to share a few of the many reasons why I meditate.
Ladies and gentlemen, of the class of 2017, learn meditation.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, meditation would be it.
The long term beneﬁts of meditation have been proven by scientists,
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now:
I’ve meditated, on and off, through seven years. I started in the beginning of my twenties, and even though I’ve never done it in a proper way — I’ve never sat down in lotus ; mostly I lie in my bed meditating through guided audio — meditation has had so many profound effects on me, it’s almost unbelievable. The benefits are so mindblowingly amazing: better sleep, a much better immune system than before, clearly seeing an increase of productivity and positivity, and decrease of stress. All of these feel like bonuses compared to the spiritual experiences and aha moments meditation has given me.
Meditation is the single-most important thing I’ve ever learned, and it is continuously affecting every area of my life. I know for a fact that as long as I’ll be able to, I’ll keep on meditating. The experiences I’ve had with it have turned the way I view the world upside down, and though it’s been a rough path at times, I’ll be forever grateful for the journey.
All my life I’ve been a highly sensitive person — a melancholic type of person so wrapped up in intense feelings and thoughts to the point where it led to high anxiety and periods of depression.
I used to envy others, those with normal abilities that seemed foreign to me: those who could keep their heads cold or seemed to see the world in a lighthearted way. At the same time, I comforted myself, thinking that I could feel deeper than most others, and perhaps that made me more authentic than them, somehow closer to the truth. I dreamed that the way I was, and the things I went through, one day would prove to have been worth it — that I suddenly would emerge into this great (stereotypical) suffering artist.
One of the ﬁrst truly profound and transformative insights I gained through meditation happened during an experience of going out of my body. I realized that I’m so much more than everything I’ve ever thought I was. I realized that not only am I so much more than my body and my mind, I am so much more than anything I could ever imagine. I’m a part of a higher consciousness, and so is everyone else. We all just don’t realize it.
From the perspective of this higher consciousness, I could pull out material from my unconscious and subconscious minds. I could see clearly that for so long I had been identifying myself with my emotions and thoughts, and, by doing that, I had created so much suffering in my own life. I realized the intense feelings I’d been having all my life, and the seemingly chronic train of thoughts linked to them, in no way constitutes who I am. All that I experienced was just meant to be experienced.
Today I’m in a place of deep gratitude, not only for the gift of meditation, but also for every single experience I’ve ever gone through and continue to go through. Meditation is a universal gift to the whole of humanity. The thought of it being available to anyone, anywhere, in any situation, is the most touching thing I can think of — and love like that is what it is about.