I woke up clutching my abdomen in severe pain in the middle of the night, my hair sticking to my forehead from the sweat of pain and humidity. I was 3 days into my almost 2 month backpacking trip across Costa Rica. At the time I was trying to overcome a painful health issue using western medicine, this included trials of antibiotics and painkillers to keep the issue from worsening, and I had unfortunately ran out of both...3 days in. I had accidentally left behind one of the most important things I needed to pack. My tiny bottle of relief was just on sitting on the shelf as I laid here in pain. I closed my eyes and began to simply feel the pain. I knew it wasn't going to go away...so I surrendered and fell back asleep shortly after.
Fast forward a couple weeks in and my experience had been rather pleasant. I continued to enjoy the beach and immersing myself in a brand new culture even with a dull (at times, extremely sharp) ever-present pain. I had even found a similar over the counter painkiller in one of the towns we stopped at, I was so grateful. There wasn't enough to last me the rest of my trip, so I knew it was only a matter of time before the sharp pain began to reappear. Then it did, with another sweaty abdomen full of painful wake up call. Instead of waking up and pushing the pain to the back of my mind- I put my feet on the floor, rolled out my yoga mat, and decided to address what was happening.
I closed my eyes and tuned into my breathe. I began to imagine every breathe contained the vital ingredients my body needed to heal. Then with my hands in the air (probably looking a little coo-coo to the neighbors) I began to imagine I was cleaning the energy of my hurting organs. I imagined I cleaned out every last drop of negativity, sickness, disease, anger, pain, whatever was residing in this area and causing this negative experience. I cried. I felt emotion that at the time, felt very sudden and random. Then I felt relief.
I began to realize through this experience that if my mind had the power to put myself outside of my body and in a way, observe my organs and how they felt as I "cleaned" them out with Prana- life force energy.... I actually had the power to subdue and possibly erratic the pain I was feeling, almost immediately!
This became my practice. Breath in, breath out. Just like my breath was gone the moment it left my body, so was that moment. So was whatever that moment contained, including pain. After doing this for about 20 minutes my pain was gone. I just felt, better. So I continued to do that, with whatever I felt in my body. And eventually expanded and used this technique with emotions as well. This was the start of my meditation practice. I didn't know it at the time, but I had just begun to deepen and develop my body awareness as well as my mind body connection.
This experience sparked so much curiosity within me. Did I really meditate my pain away? What about the sickness, was that gone too? Would it come back? I felt my mind open and look for other reasons as to why I was feeling the pain or getting that reoccurring sickness. I dove deeper into yoga when I got home and it became my refuge, and helped to show me that the situation and relationship I was a part of was extremely unhealthy and I wanted out of it. I wanted to feel different, better....and now I knew I had the power to do just that, with intention. So I began to see what my intentions could do- and that has forever changed my life!
The power of intention is incredible, the power and tool of meditation to manifest that intention is an absolutely beautiful, fascinating, and mysterious process that perplexes so many people. A particular experiment that stood out to me during my studies called 'The Maharishi Effect'. This showed that if 1% of the population in a particular place practiced meditation, it produced a measurable impact on the rest of the population. Incredible! They have recorded cases where they took a group of experienced meditators and placed them randomly throughout the town (or city- wherever the experiment took place) and crime rate dropped measurably, as much as 17%- this is very significant, these are excellent results in social science.
To learn more about this study- visit this link https://research.miu.edu/maharishi-effect/summary-of-13-published-studies
If you haven't given meditation much thought, you should! I will link some of our favorite resource below as a good place to get started. We also talk about and guide meditation classes on our Vimeo members page, and have a current fundraiser involving meditating to raise awareness and money for the fight against sex trafficking!
Until next time.
A few helpful sites to check out....