What is the right age to begin meditation? Why does meditation as a hobby become a point of worry for the society?
At the age of 15, I came across Heartfulness Meditation. I conveyed this interest towards meditation to my parents but to my disappointment, they didn’t support as I had hoped. Instead, they were a little bothered; thinking I would leave behind material things and end up becoming a sanyasi.
My practice of Heartfulness meditation began by meditating just 10 minutes a day and I found it interesting, eventually making it my daily morning routine. I was inspired at the age of 13 by my math teacher, who would share some inspiring stories and moral values during our leisure time.
I was hurt initially by the reaction of my family towards my new interest, but now when I look back, I realized how meditation helped me fix my short term goals, like getting into a good university and then finding a job that would convince them that my meditation practice is my foundation because of which I am improving on a daily basis.
I had to leave my native place and my family for pursuing B. Tech at a university. When I came home for the semester holidays, I attended the introductory sessions of Heartfulness (without my parent’s knowledge) and used to practice with the help of a trainer whenever I would get such an opportunity.
The practice of Heartfulness meditation helped me find the true purpose of my life. I learnt how to act, listen and follow my heart which guides us in all aspects of life. Whenever a difficult situation arose, I had no clue on how to respond to the same. I would then sit down and meditate over it. Within a few days, I would definitely get an answer either through books or from the community, or from a simple conversation with my beloved ones. After my graduation, when I got a job through campus placement, my parents felt very happy and that’s when they understood the role of meditation in my life. Their whole perception of my interest in meditation changed. They were happy that I didn’t end up with ideas like becoming a sanyasi.
I soon moved to Bangalore, working as a software engineer in an IT Company and that is when I met more people with similar interests in mediation and social service, etc. As a community, we went to volunteer for many events like plantation work and organizing events for youth to engage and inspire them. I started to connect with people open-heartedly and also learnt to accept my flaws that would help in bringing the best version of myself. After having a long day at the office, all my stress and heaviness would go away when I sat for my cleaning practice. There were smooth as well as rough days in my life, but I learnt how to stay calm without letting it impact my inner stillness.
One of the most exciting and refreshing things was to be a part of the volunteer work. I would wait for the weekends to come as I would get a chance to listen to many inspiring stories from people around me. In the beginning, I used to feel nervous about public speaking, but over the past few years with some opportunities, I have improved a lot. Heartfulness has given me a family for which I’m always grateful.
Suggested Read: Meditation for self development
I understand how this current pandemic is a sad thing for all; but to me, I felt this is an opportunity where I got a chance to stay with my parents and work on intensifying my practice. My parents realized how serious I am about the practice and I hope that one day soon, they too would join me on this wonderful journey!