Contributor: Ksenia Kala
For many years I sincerely hoped for a life of progress, but I never felt progress to be a part of my reality. All my attempts to fill my life with something meaningful had never reaped any solid fruit, despite bringing lots of excitement in the preliminary stages. Instead my life journey has always seemed a slow, progressive downfall.
At some point, I started giving up on the dreams of being sincerely happy or having peace of mind. These dreams I carried with me since I was a child through the teenage years, but the more time passed by the less likely it seemed that my dreams would ever become a reality.
I have always loved art and music in all their forms. I listen very carefully to what the artists express through their creations and to some extent can identify myself with their art. In modern music I felt and heard so much pain, suffering and hopelessness, and through my love for the artist’s creation I became absolutely identified with the reality being offered. Many of these negative qualities entered into my life and lingered there, like unwanted guests outstaying their visit and bringing a life of self-created pain.
Deep within I could feel that I was on a very wrong journey, that negative living isn’t the way. I was conscious of the fact that things like a glass of wine, a smoke, the usual worldly things that console us, were not the solution. These are the means that every young person is widely exposed to, especially if you hang with the artistic crowd.
I was crying for change and new hope, but the willpower to do anything about it was nowhere to be found.
Looking back I can happily remark that the darkest hour is just before the dawn.
The first ray of sun came into my life when I felt that I should learn to meditate. I began to practice on my own, lying down with eyes closed and listening to guided meditations. To be frank, I derived little benefit from this approach but the idea that I can gain a peace of mind through some sort of practice was now planted in my mind. I had gained a tiny ray of hope, enough to keep me going further. I read a book on meditation techniques written by Sri Chinmoy and seemingly by chance came across a class where I could properly learn to meditate. I was focusing on things I liked about the place and the people who were teaching meditation.
A second and more powerful wave of light came into my life when I realised that meditation is like any other discipline, requiring regularity and prioritising. So I joined the spiritual path. In the beginning, the requirements of the path were quite a challenge, but coming out of my life of ignorance and depression was a great unburdening for me at that time.
Like a sunrise, the light that came as a result of my regular practice was illumining for my ego and mind, and in fact, I could myself growing into something new. The light has transformed my stubbornness and idleness into a dynamic energy. This dynamic energy I can best describe as a constant inspiration and a capacity to do things you love. This energy you cannot get from protein shakes, muesli bars and coffees, and not even through listening to your favorite album. The dynamic energy gained through meditation is way more everlasting and powerful. This power isn’t the one you get when you are hyped up and rushing into something, it is rather a solid inner strength that assists you on your journey of perfecting yourself.
One of the most sacred truths has been revealed to me at this point is that real power comes from within – nothing everlasting comes from without.
In the very beginning of my journey I was only asking to gain hope for a personal bright future, but through the practice of meditation with my Guru, I found hope not only for my own life but also for the entire humanity.