How meditation helped me get to the Grad School

Four years ago some very wise man told me about great program called MBSR. Mindful Based Stress Reduction is a meditation program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living. MBSR is clinically proven program addressing both physical health and emotional wellbeing.

People who know me know that I am full of energy, I also get very excited quickly. How could I sit still for more than 5 minutes? Well, it takes practice. The beginning was not easy as it is with most of the things. However I found guided meditations very relaxing and pleasant. I started from very easy exercises. Listening to 3 and 5 minutes practices at the beginning concentrating on my breathing techniques. Slowly I moved on to 15, 30 and finally 45 minute long practices. Progressing in my practices I’ve noticed that my ability to focus was slowly increasing.

I was also able to concentrate better and stay focused on the tasks I wanted to complete. I was practicing at least once a day.  I knew that my goal of passing GRE test in order to get admitted to the MBA program was a very serious task therefore I was highly motivated to improve my concentration skills. I started preparing for the test in January. For 3 months I’ve been studying every day at least 3 hours a day. Within those 3 months I took only 3 days off without studying. I was tracking my study hours on the calendar, writing them down every evening.

Every day I was also mediating at least 30 minutes and exercising at least 30 minutes as well.  I’ve noticed that after each session I could easily focus on studying for 2 or 3 hours a day after spending 8 hours at work. Meditation helped me tremendously improve my concentration and overall maintain positive attitude during this difficult time of hard mental challenge.

After my own experience with meditation I highly recommend this practice to everyone who is looking for mental stability and control over their mind. There is this old saying that untrained mind is like drunken monkey. Indeed this is true. In very stressful situations I am able to bring myself from highly elevated state of mind to the state where I can control myself better, noticing my emotions and reactions.

I feel like meditation became lately a fad. It sounds cool to say that you practice meditation. Places like Google have mediation lunches where people mindfully enjoy their meal in the silence. It is not because Google as a workplace tries to be trendy. The management realized how powerful and beneficial meditation can be to their employees making them work more efficiently with higher ability to focus and complete tasks more effectively.

If you feel interested in meditation you may start from very trivial exercises such as mindful taking shower, where you practice being present in the moment without thinking about past or the future. Try to feel in the moment with all you senses, listen to the water hitting your skin, smell the shower gel, look at the colors of the foam, and focus on feeling the heat of the water on your skin.

Another great exercise is while driving to work: turn of the radio, and look around as you were driving this road for the first time in your life. Watch your surroundings carefully just like a child and you may be truly surprised how many new things you’ve noticed which you’ve never seen before. Try to remember each part of the road.

The secret of meditation lies in your attitude towards life. You perception may change and you will be able see things just like a child with fresh mind. We are so busy in our heads constantly rewinding things we’ve been thru or planning things which are ahead of us. Mediation allows you be present in the moment without any connection to the past or the future. I truly hope you will try it and I am confident that once you try mediation practice you will truly enjoy it!

Meditation did magic for me! I am a believer of true power of mediation and the benefits it brought to my life!

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