In April of 2019 I began a daily practice of meditation. I believe that it has saved my life.
For years I had been in constant pain from joint inflammation (lower back, knees, feet). I often had heartburn. I suffered from high blood pressure. I was usually silently filled with rage. Any irritation during the day would prompt me to curse (sometimes audibly, sometimes under my breath). I routinely started my day with Alka Seltzer, typically followed by Tylenol, and later in the day threw in an Aleve or interic aspirin to manage pain and stiffness. Some days also required Hydrocodone or muscle relaxants. My systolic blood pressure reading averaged in the high 140s, though I took a daily dose of Valsartin. I was often depressed, and usually miserable.
Attempts at diet and exercise to help alleviate or manage these symptoms never seemed to help. I could never seem to walk enough, to eat enough raw fruits and vegetables, to deny myself enough to make things better. I had resigned myself to the idea that I was at the beginning of a long, inevitable decline. I would never get better. I would never get fit. I would never have any energy. I would always be in pain, and suffer from stiffness and limited mobility. I would suffer, more or less, until I died, and if I survived another decade, that would be more than I should expect.
I thought that this was normal.
Through a series of seemingly chance happenings, I began reading a book on the Chakras called “Wheels of Light” and I came to the notion that I had an energy blockage at the Root Chakra. The sorts of symptoms that I experienced are often associated with such a blockage (all that fire has to go somewhere).
When I learned that there might be a relationship between this energy blockage and my poor condition, I went looking for a way to get myself aligned and unblocked. Though I knew relatively little about such things, I was vaguely aware that Kundalini practices were connected to Chakra health. Since I was familiar with the audios from Brain Sync, I decided to start with their “Awakening Kundalini” program. I had no idea of what to expect, and no real hope that it would help, but figured that it was worth ten bucks and a half an hour of my time to find out.
The first time I did the meditation, I felt incredibly light afterwards. Glancing in the mirror, my eyes seemed softer, somehow, and it seemed like my brain was moving in slow motion. It wasn’t that I was confused or dull, more that I was very relaxed and taking time to just experience what was going on, instead of thinking about everything. I had no idea what I was doing or what was happening to me, but I felt calm and hopeful.
So I began to devote a half an hour every day to the practice. At the end of the workday, instead of mixing a cocktail, I brewed a cup of tea, lit a stick of incense and put in my earbuds.
A few weeks later, again through a series of chance happenings, I stumbled on the movie The Secret which focuses on something called the “Law of Attraction.” I was more than a little skeptical about some of the claims, but also intrigued by the idea that we attract what we think about. One of the simple suggestions in the movie was to focus on gratitude, including gratitude for things we desire that haven’t come to us yet. I decided to stop thinking about how fat I was, and how I was angry and frustrated, and how high blood pressure was going to kill me. Instead, I would be thankful for increasing good health, and for calm, and for all of the blessings in my life. I began to keep a gratitude journal.
I also remembered that Brain Sync had an entire catalog based on the Law of Attraction. On April 29th I downloaded Kelly Howell’s “Gratitude” audio, and her “Universal Mind” as well. Both of these required no participation other than listening, and could even be used while falling asleep. Again, I figured that they couldn’t hurt, and I was already feeling a lot better from using the Kundalini audio every day, so I thought these may help me too.
I listened to the Universal Mind while falling asleep each night, and began to carve out time to listen to the Gratitude recording (which uses subliminal messages rather than audible prompts) during the day a couple times a week.
I also began reading the book that was the source material for some of Kelly’s affirmations, Three Magic Words by U.S. Andersen. One of the things that he recommended was to go on a “mental diet” for thirty days, during which one absolutely banishes negative thoughts or words, directed toward anyone or anything. I confess that I haven’t been able to achieve the thirty days yet, but I did find myself becoming aware when frustration started to turn to anger, and found that I was able to stop myself from cursing or feeding the anger most of the time. I was beginning to feel calm, centered, positive, relaxed, joyful even – as if these feelings were choices, or habits that could be cultivated.
At some point I noticed that my blood pressure was trending lower, and I wondered what would happen if I quit taking the medication that I’d been on for more than a decade. Knowing that I could monitor it daily and resume the medication if needed, I decided to give it a try. I did well for several days, then had a frustrating day at work and began to worry that it was going to have a bad effect. I took my BP and sure enough it was high. I began to doubt and panic. What if I had a stroke or heart attack in the night because of my foolishness? I took a pill that evening.
By the light of the next day, I realized that the “high” reading from the evening before was lower than my usual daily average had been from when I was taking the medication. I decided to not yield to doubt and fear again, unless the reading got dangerously high.
I began to set aside an additional half hour each morning to the gratitude audio. Since the audible portion is only ambient sounds, I started using a mala to chant either the Om Mani or the Adi Mantra while listening to the recording. This only takes five or ten minutes. I devote the rest of the time to calling to mind things for which I am grateful, fond memories, or sometimes just letting my mind drift. I generally try to do this mid-morning as a break from the workday.
So this has become routine, now. Half an hour of gratitude in the morning, half an hour of Kudalini guided meditation after work, and listening to another audio while drifting off to sleep at night. I’ve added a few other of the audios to my collection to keep things fresh. It’s not a chore, just a habit. If I’m unable to do one of the sessions for the day, I don’t beat myself up about it. I know that I’ll at least get the other two in. :)
I have not done anything else thus far, at least intentionally, in terms of dietary restrictions or increases in exercise, etc. I did decide along the way to leave off alcohol, but that’s another story. I have denied myself nothing, and have not found this routine to be burdensome.
My blood pressure readings now are generalły 125 or less over 75 or less. I no longer suffer from heartburn. I have less stiffness and pain, and find that even after strenuous activities (yardwork and such that would have required pain meds and an ice pack a few months ago) I seldom need so much as an aspirin. I have yet to have an episode of depression since I began this regimen, and those were common before. I have lost 15 pounds so far in about two months time.
Most important is that I am no longer just waiting to die, and counting on a steady decline. I have every reason to think that I will continue to get fitter, feel better, and improve in energy and well being every day.
Is this a miracle? If not, it’s certainly a wonder.