Meditation! I have passed through many experiences of meditation practices and mindset. When I was in my youth, I was under the impression that meditation would give me superpowers. In the last years, twenty or so, I discovered that meditation, in its essence, is a technique to silence the thoughts of the brain which in turn would give clarity of thought by eliminating the impact of the physical and emotional factors that would causes noises to our thinking processes.
I have passed through many meditative habits and practices based on the beliefs I followed of the period.
The first meditative practice was the Christian prayer where I close my eyes and recite phrases that makes me closer to God. Based on this teaching, I was supposed to be reborn and given magical powers of speaking a new language. 13 years of practice and I did not feel any changes or satisfactions.
The second and third meditative practices were Islamic based. The first one was Doaa (the call for God to fulfill a desire I have by asking him directly). The second one was the Sufi practice of ziker (repeatedly mentioning the word “Allah” while moving the beads of a rosary where it is claimed that combination of voicing the word of Allah with the movement of the thumbs with the beads has a synchronizing effect on the overall personality and make the individual unique te with God.) both method did not work with me and found them useless.
The forth meditative method I practice was the Transcendental Meditation where you repeat a specific random word given to you by a “guru” in a silent meditative environment. A prolonged practice would lead to gaining some powers of leaving the body experience and flying (more hopping) which never worked with me.
In late 90’s, I went through a severe mental exhaustion due to personal insecurity. None of the meditative practices eased up my situation. In one of my long drive, I recognized my brain is turbo working and an unlimited stream of interrelated ideas throughout the trips. It was going through a lot of “what if” scenarios and trying to figure the expected outcome of each scenario. I used to call this practice “the planning”. On my return trip, I recognized that none of the “what if” scenarios actually happened and that I have spend the two hours drive worrying about something that would not happen. So, the planning, was actually useless worrying. I spent few years trying to overcome this habit which now I recognize as a flavour of compulsive disorder. The breakthrough came when I watched the movie called “beautiful mind” about how a genius overcame his schizophrenic nature by ordering his brain to stop thinking about a recurring fear or idea. That’s when I recognized that one method to stop worrying is to forcefully order the brain to skip and idea and think of something else. I.e. take control of the thinking process. Later, i discovered that this is a variation of the worrying process and it does not help rest my brain, but a way to put the energy of my brain engine into shifting to new ideas (or worries) that I choose rather than the brain forced on me. One step. In the right direction of minimizing worries, but did not offer any peace of mind.
In another boring long drive, I started figuring out new ways to apply. I remembered the rhythmic breathing practices I was asked to do during all different meditations I practiced. I thought this could be a solution because focusing on breathing cycle eliminates the need to think of ideas. However, I devised my own variation. When I was learning to scuba dive, I was asked to free my lung from air to prevent my body to float. I failed miserably. So, during my drive, I tried to practice to elongate the period of keeping my lungs free from oxygen the longest period I could. Over a long period, I used to exhale all oxygen, keep my lung empty for as many seconds I can, at that point I would exhale further more and keep my lungs even emptier.to do it again until by brain cannot take it anymore and force me a inhale deeply. That feeling was phenomenal. Feeling of relieve and control. After doing that cycle for 5 times, I notice my brain attained peace I never experienced before. My brain was free from all kinds of thoughts. I was in control, peacefully. The rest of my day was peaceful. And a new breathing technique was born that proved effective.
The breathing technique: for 5 seconds, i would slowly inhale as much as I can. Hold it for 5 seconds, then repeat this cycle of inhalation 5 times. Hold the air in my lungs for 5 seconds. Then exhale for 5 seconds nd hold it for 5 seconds. Repeat the exhaling cycle five times until there is no more air in the lungs. Once I feel I will die, I exhale further more one more time then wait for my brain to force to inhales. At the beginning, violently, but it became more controllable with the passage of time.
This gave my brain energy, clarity and the power to avoid worrying and just use its power I. What is happening now instead of worrying about the future.
The counting technique: sometimes, I would go through some planning or worrying mode when I am planning for a project. It natural. I needed another supportive method to help me direct my brain into productive line of thought. While watching some spiritual video, I stumbled into an effective thought controlling technique which is simple and powerful. Close my eyes, count depending from 100 to 0 focusing on the counting and reverting from any unrelated thought. Repeat from 30 to 0, then 20 to 0 and finally from 10 to 0.the first time, I nearly reached 60 and lost my line of thought. After a week, I was able to master the “decounting”” which gave me a full control of my thoughts. It works.
The combination of both techniques allowed me to put my thought process under control as a way of life without even having to do them, my brain is tamed. I lost all feelings of worry, fear, guilt feeling and I had peace of mind in a true meaning.