Being a hairy person, I had always found it intriguing to observe the direction of my hair, especially on my arm. The ones on my inner arm have disappeared over time. The other ones on the outside are oblique and they stand alert when I am cold, or when I touch a person I like.
Taking time to observe my hair was my first form of self-awareness. I was pulled into thinking about myself as a living thing, more precisely, a human being. Self awareness made me feel that I could create my own reality on my own terms. I was able to delve in and out of multiple worlds with fantasy.
English being my second language, which I self-taught, I had to pile vocabulary from time to time. I heard about meditation for the first time in 2015 in a church. The preacher had read us Joshua 1:8 which says, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
Thou shalt meditate therein day and night… The line stuck with me. I started reading some Bible verses and meditating about them, first for five minutes, then ten, then thirty, until I stopped tracking time. Later on, I started drifting into my other worlds during meditation until I unconsciously became an overthinker.
In 2017, I read the meaning of meditation itself in my Oxford dictionary, which I had been carrying for two years. "The practice of focusing your mind in silence, especially for religious reasons or in order to make your mind calm" In the whole definition, I used meditation just for religious purposes only. I had not been focusing my mind appropriately, nor had I been calming my mind.
Two years down the road, I got access to a computer and a smartphone. In 2019, I read an article on Mindful.org that told me to sit down, set a time limit, feel my breath, notice my body (it has always been noticed and gawked at by strangers mostly), be kind to my wandering mind, and close with kindness. That’s very easy, I thought. Until kindness, the center of the meditation I was trying to master, challenged me to the ends of the world. I could be kind to others, but not to my wandering mind. I could be compassionate to the stray kids, but not to myself. I started all over. During my holidays, I practiced meditation with calming songs. At school, I practiced sitting on a desk in the morning or watching the sunset from the balcony in front of my class (the same balcony where couples stood giggling at sweet nothings, pecking at each other’s cheeks before they went for their preps). Most of my meditations that year ended with a poem, as a way of carving down my emotions at that time.
In 2020, COVID-19 made us do a lot of things. I felt sorry for myself. When I lost my appetite, some others were hungry. I dropped meditation altogether, I sampled almost every upcoming app to meet strangers, I couldn’t find it in my heart to watch a movie, I read a lot of online books, and I reread The Red Tent by Anna Diamante like five times.
The pain in my back, the ache in my eyes, the popping bones in my ribcage (I am skinny; it was getting worse), and the constant negative thoughts that ran through my head were a wake-up call. I realized that I was losing myself piece by piece. I felt like a candle that was slowly melting away in an abandoned room. Meditation, ta-da! I went back to it. I resumed the old ways of meditation with sunrises and sunsets, and I also started having regular walks to regain my flexibility.
When I got back on my feet, I became busy with my writing career, academics, and enjoyment. In April 2021, I put meditation off again, only to get back to it later in September. I am now doing regular meditation for busy people on the SimpleHabit app. I can refer to meditation as my ex that I keep going back to (where I actually don’t have a legit ex-I guess I should explain official and unofficial ex in another article along with the way that I actually go on about with meditation).