My new favorite quote by Molly Bloom in her interview with Tom Bilyeu: Meditation will make you dangerous
I have been meditating for over 30 years (different techniques, but consistently) and I’ve prayed as long as I can remember. While I may not be an obvious ninja, my optimistic nature, my willingness to learn, and my faithful friendships sometimes surprises me. Without these I would feel defeated for longer, convince myself that down is better than down and out, watch movies from bed, eat Cool Ranch Doritos (my guilty pleasure), and be exactly where I was a year ago, or even 10 years ago.
I also have done things that absolutely scare me: teaching in front of thousands in Grant Park, teaching yoga to famous people, pitching to investors, and working with high level coaches (and paying $$$$ for the experience!) Meditating regularly, and getting connected with me through breath and awareness, I believe, has allowed me to not freak out in the moment, to deliver my best and be present to the experience, and then to live and learn, and share about it!
I remember distinctly the moment that I realized that mediation and practicing yoga was working on me in terms of the ability to remain calm through chaos or anxiety:
In my early 30’s, I had been practicing meditation and yoga for at least 10 years, and walking from my car to my apartment in Ravenswood where I parked on the street. My keys fell out of my hand and onto a manhole with grates. I reached down to pick them up and they slipped into the hole, into the tunnel under the street. Immediately I stood up, calculated that I probably couldn’t reach the city of Chicago to open it up and retrieve my keys, and then immediately was grateful that I had an extra pair of car and apartment keys in my purse.
Without missing a beat, I walked onward and just observed myself not freaking out. I observed myself thinking, “Wow, I bet a year ago that would have totally threw me for a loop. I don’t know why, but I have that extra set of keys with me. And who’s going to find my keys under the street and find my car, and figure out where I live? I’ll be fine.” Like watching a movie, I was witnessing myself stay calm and rational through something that could really cause some upset. That memorable moment will forever be the one when I felt the effects of a consistent meditation practice.
Resources for Meditation:
Over the years I have practices different techniques of meditation.
Here are my favorite books:
Conquest of the Mind by Eknath Eswaren. I consider Eknath Eswaren my first meditation teacher even though I have never met him because his books and articles feel like he is speaking directly to me. Very accessible and very realistic, sometimes “calling me out” on excuses for not meditating, and knowing the human condition so well that he could describe the developmental stages of meditation.
The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche. While not a how-to, and is more poetic than instructional, this book is a description of the “Mind on Meditation.” Yes, just like the frying pan with the cracked egg frying is the visual of the mind on drugs, this is the description of what kind of conversation, musings, and conclusions of a mind that meditates. In my studies with Shiva Rea, we would read, listen and ponder the Radiance Sutras one line at a time.
Guided Meditation recordings and more
Joe Dispenza Morning and Evening Meditation. In addition to my “quiet” meditation, I have found guided meditations to be very helpful for directing my mind towards my vision and goals. I am currently using this one. And for the first few years of creating illumine I used the Six Phase Meditation also available on YouTube and the Omvana app.
I also use Insight Timer app, which used to just be a timer I could set while I meditated. It now offers guided meditations for different topics such as anxiety, stress, sleep improvement, etc.
The Shambhala Center West Loop offers free daily sitting meditations at 12:15-12:45. There is no instruction but it’s nice to sit with others and know that time will be monitored by the volunteer who rings the bell at the beginning and end of the 30 minutes. It’s a respite in the middle of the day, if you happen to work nearby or find parking in the busy West Loop area.
I have had my meditation cushion for about 20 years and I love how it lifts my hips and lets my knees drop down.