This is a story about how one meditation turned my life around 180 degrees.
If anybody would tell me, that one meditation can change one’s life so much, I would never believe. Well, I was an atheist anyway, so “non-believing” was my specialty.
But let’s start this story from the beginning.
In early childhood I had a very close relationship with the Divine. I perceived God mostly through Christianity, the tradition in which I grew up, so Jesus and Mother Mary were the closest to my heart. I didn’t understood much about spirituality, being still a little child, but I felt, how my prayers are heard and experienced a few small miracles. I remember that during first communion I was so deeply touched, that I was almost crying and laughing at the same time.
Then I went through the phase of denial. As I was growing up and getting more and more interested in God, it was quite natural for me to read more and more about it. One day I had a bad luck to read one wrong book about crusades and all other nasty stuff that so-called “Christians” used to do in the middle age, which totally shook the foundations of my faith.
As the book was pretty convincing about its conspiracy theories about God and I was still very young, I slowly started to deny everything I believed in. I did not only abandon the Christianity, but I completely denied the existence of God or any higher power in this universe. And as whatever I do in life, I always do it with the fullness of my heart, I was so devoted in my atheism, that I would go and convince other kids in my school to my new world view!
It was quite problematic period of my life. I was growing up attending to musical school, where each year we had more and more hours of practice. I remember that sometimes I was away from home literally since morning till quite late evening. The pressure was getting higher each year, and each year in this school my creative nature felt more and more like a bird in cage. Slowly I started to lose energy. At the age of 16 I already was suffering from chronic insomnia and depression. It seemed to me like nothing really makes sense, and I was even considering finishing with my life.
But life didn’t finish with me yet.
Being too stressed about the amount of hours spent on lessons in school, each year I was trying to manipulate this or other doctor to write me a little paper, saying that I don’t need to attended physical education lessons, at least. One year, when I was 16, my mum proposed me that we could go to a psychologist, whom she knows, and she said that she would surely write me a paper.
A psychologist obviously knew straight away, that everything is more or less fine with me, but that I just really don’t want to go on physical exercises. So she said, “Fine, I will write you a paper. But one condition: bring me a paper that at least once week you are doing some other physical activity. It can be just one hour a week. It’s important because of your insomnia.”
Well, one hour a week seemed for me still better than four, so I agreed.
Yet, as I was never really a lover of physical exercises, I had no idea which additional classes to choose.
Then my mum proposed me, that maybe I could go on yoga with her. It sounded quite ok for me. In my mind I was imaging that on yoga classes people just in one place, meditate and do nothing. But very soon I was about to realise that yoga is pretty far away from “doing nothing”!
I really didn’t like my first yoga class.
I felt clumsy and stiff (just to mention, I was suffering from scoliosis for a big part of my life), and my sceptical mind was pretty much against a philosophy of relaxation and letting go. Yoga teacher seemed to me like some kind of weirdo (of course, how could I know, that later on he will become a good friend of mine). Believe me or not, but I was attending my first yoga classes, only because I had must to do so, to get my paper from psychologist. Each week I was there, on yoga mat, with all my scepticism, all my pain in the spine and unwillingness to change.
And guess what. “Something” has changed.
As much as skeptical by nature I am, even for my mind it’s hard to deny a change, when I witness it. Although I was practicing my yoga so unwillingly at the beginning, I actually very quickly noticed the positive results. The pain in my spine got relieved. (In fact, my spine became completely straight after few months of regular practice, which was visible on RTG picture.) The insomnia disappeared naturally. And although I still didn’t find a real sense in my life, actually I was not depressed anymore.
Some say, that if you want to experience a positive change in your life, you need to will it and you need to believe in it. I didn’t will for it. And I didn’t believe in it. In fact, I lost all my hope, that life can be good again. But regardless of my liking, yoga naturally changed me, almost without any effort from my side.
It was so good feeling. And I wanted more of it!
I started to practice my yoga more and more. In fact, yoga studio became almost my second home! From full-hearted atheist I became a full-hearted, atheistic yogi. I was coming on yoga classes every single day, feeling more and more energised, and more and more relieved of all the pains from the past, on both emotional and physical level. In time, I started to practice also pranayama (breathing techniques), japam (mantra repetition) and meditation.
Meditation was something I particularly enjoyed. Each Friday evening my yoga teacher had a guided meditation practice and it was always a very beautiful experience for me. The meditations taught were really easy and simple, usually just focusing on something and learning how to consciously relax. But one of these evening meditations turned my life around 180 degrees.
On that special Friday evening everything seemed the same at first.
Our yoga teacher told us to close our eyes, sit with straight spine and open chest, and to focus on our breathing for few minutes. And then He said something, that really shocked me in that moment…
“Today we are going to do a meditation with God.”
I can hardly express how shocked I felt at that moment. In that times I literally had allergy for the word “God”. The moment I heard it, I thought that right now I will immediately get up and go away. But then I heard a voice of reason in my head:
“Relax. You already paid for this meditation class. And you going away will bother other people trying to meditate. Anyway, if God is not existing, what difference does it make, whether you meditate on Him or not?”
Yet, there was a difference.
The meditation was easy. Nothing particularly special. Yoga teacher told us to just imagine a bright, beautiful light above our head and to imagine it as the light of our Higher Consciousness, or God. As the word “higher consciousness” sounded to me far more acceptable, I followed the instructions, and felt much more in peace with myself. It was a nice feeling to imagine our own higher consciousness as the ball of light above our body – it really was the feeling of being connected to some “higher source”, and at the same time far more detached from physical body and activity of the mind.
Then the “hard part” started. The teacher told us to imagine now, how this light of Higher Consciousness pours into our heart chakra, and to feel how at the same time is pouring within our hearts all good qualities of the Divine, like love, compassion, care, warmth, kindness, etc. This time word “God” was used far too many times, yet I was doing my conscious effort to “translate” it for myself inwardly as “higher consciousness”. The teacher told us to be open, and to not imagine any particular positive quality pouring into our hearts along with the light, but to rather feel, what is the quality of this light.
To feel, what is the quality of God.
I was imagining the light of the higher consciousness pouring into my heart. And then, something happened.
I cannot logically explain what happened. In one moment I just felt something so warm, so loving, so caring, and so well known in my heart… Then, not only in my heart, but also all around me, embracing me from everywhere. Few seconds after I just felt how tears start to follow down my cheeks. And this was something very unusual in my life. Last time I felt like that was on… first communion.
At first, I could not understand what is happening inside of me. And then came the recognition. And far more tears.
Just a moment before I was 100% sure that God is not existing. But in this very moment I was 100% sure that He does exists. Not only that! That He was actually never far away.
It’s impossible to put this experience into any words. But this presence of the Divine in my heart was so strong, so real and so tangible, like nothing that I ever experienced before. It was simply impossible to deny it.
And then I got depressed again.
But this time, it was a different type of depression. I remember that two weeks after this experience I was just crying every day. I was so sad that I was denying God for all these years! Feeling His Love and compassion just for a glimpse during that meditation was such an overwhelming and humbling experience, that I needed quite some time to find myself in a completely new situation and a completely new relationship – a relationship with the Divine.
It was just one meditation. But after this meditation something has changed in me. And it changed forever. After this meditation my life was never the same as before. Actually, I feel that it is after this meditation that my life has truly started.
And that’s why I always say: just try. You never know what meditation can bring into your life. That’s the whole beauty of it: it doesn’t give you a theory. It gives you a direct experience. And exactly that experience, which you need right now in your life.