In her book EAT, PRAY AND LOVE, Liz Gilbert talks about how advanced methods of meditation needs to be done carefully under supervision and with the blessings of an expert – usually the experienced Guru. This normally would mean going to a retreat or an Ashram and dedicating a month or a few weeks to this. Seems unlikely most would even consider this.
Which is why the 21 day meditation course by Oprah and Deepak Chopra is such a blessing in disguise.
I strongly believe in destiny (the ‘fame is not earned, its thrust upon you’ school of thought).
This also means for me, there is always a right time for everything ,when things align and you will be ready for what is ahead of you. In the case of this online course – I had seen this at least a few times in the past, and even registered for this but could never participate – it really did not work out.
But recently, circumstances came together. I have a break (well, sort of) and before I get this invite for the 21 day meditation course I am going through some videos of Deepak Chopra and the soul Sunday series of Oprah.
There are some excellent revelations from them. Now, I had seen Deepak Chopra and read his 7 spiritual laws of success ages ago. But it never really resonated with me earlier. But this I think was because I was not ready for it.
Now I am. I start understanding about the universal consciousness, our true selves etc. (read or listen to Deepak on Super Soul Sunday - he says it best).
So I sign up for the 21 day meditation course and have today completed 14 days, and take a breather to write this blog.
To begin with even I am a little surprised about how this worked out – fairly smoothly so far, and hopefully will also complete this in time as planned.
But then the credit goes to both the structure of the course as well as the excellent production values behind the session. Even repeat participants claim that this course is a far more improved version of what has been carried out earlier.
The participants need to register at the website, and once they confirm their participation, there is a daily email with a short introduction as well as a link for the website.
The description in the email itself is good – but when you click on the link it goes to the website which has the audio file link for each day. This is a 20 minute session where the introduction is a short one by Oprah on the topic for the day and she then hands over to Deepak Chopra who takes us through the philosophy as well as discuss the challenge while offering a solution. Then he advices us to meditate on the centering thought for the day – and a mantra which helps us focus on that thought. He provides instructions for meditating on this and there is some meditative music for 15 minutes post which there is a gentle tinkle and we are woken up with a reminder of the thought for the day.
The production values are excellent and the music, the words, the diction everything is bang on.
What stood out for me was the structure of this course. The first week centred around beliefs and how beliefs make us and who we are. The second week was helping us get in touch with us and realize what our true self (the ‘consciousness’) is – by focusing on four key beliefs – Deepak chopra does and says it best. And I cant wait to get to the last week and see whats coming.
The course encourages us to maintain a journal of any break-throughs or A-ha moments. There’s also a comments section in the webpage where facebook account holders can give their feedback and experience.
I think the big A-ha moment for me was today (and that's why this blogpost). The first of course was how easy this was - for two weeks I’d been taking part and didn't realize the completion. The second was that this for some folks, and people like me – works at a subliminal level. We might not realize it but we slowly start absorbing these thoughts and then inculcating some of these and following these during the day without realizing it.
My personal experience was how hard the first week was – a lot of frustration, anger, and lack of focus while sitting through the meditation. But then realizing that this is common. During her time at the Ashram from Eat, Pray, Love – her advisor talks about how meditation brings out the painful experiences in life, and you need to confront it or accept it – and this is one of the tasks and achievements of meditation.
In the second week it got a little smoother, and suddenly that much harder.
Especially day 12, 13 and 14 when the course forces us to allow us to get in touch with our true selves, the core. That's when it gets really messy.
Again there was the connection – I had just watched before the course a video where Eckhart Tolle (or perhaps Gary Zukow) – talks about how powerful the EGO is and how it prevents you from doing this, forsaking your intellect to move to a more spiritual side.
It got real hard in the second week to listen to the words and process them and understand what it meant – especially when Deepak starts instructing me to get in touch with your true self.
Sounds unconvincing? On the second day this happened to me, the pattern was clear – the mind would fly elsewhere and keep telling me I am complete by myself and don't need to do this exercise and I could feel that the resistance was so strong it wasn't normal.
I had to fight it, and started going back and restarting the audio session – did this for all the three days and pushing myself to listen in again.
When I think about it – its hard – possibly THE HARDEST TRAINING session I have ever taken.
But boy am I glad that I took it. I highly recommend this to everyone.
Also here’s deep gratitude to the team at Oprah, Deepak Chopra – and how easy they have made it for us.
It is unlikely that I will ever join an Ashram (but hope to) for a course in meditation – but thanks to technology and more importantly the truly blessed Oprah and Deepak Chopra.
In the second week, the tragic incidents of Paris (16/`11) with Baghdad, Beirut and Japan took place, and I grieved with the rest of the world for all these tragedies and those affected.
And that, makes me even more grateful for the course I am taking. The world really needs this – please please do take the next one when you can, or buy the CD. The world will be grateful and a much better place…. Namaste!