28 Apr John Clark On Riding The Waves Of Awareness
The beautiful thing about John’s story is his understanding for allowing thoughts to just be thoughts. From trying to fight the attention his thoughts demanded (which a lot of us do), to moving towards the awareness and understanding of exactly where to focus the mind, is indeed a life-changing journey for anybody!
Let’s read about his life, the stories and lessons he wants to share about his meditation practice.
1. What or who was your inspiration behind learning meditation?
I was listening to self-hypnosis recordings quite a bit, but they were not really working well. You just kind of listen to them, they lack the depth and breadth of meditation. I had some experience with meditation groups, but did not continue that when I moved to a new city. I wanted to start meditating consistently, but with meditation groups, you had to be there at a certain time, and people in the group were at very different levels, so the instruction was somewhat inconsistent. Then after having something negative happen, and being unable to stop thinking about it, I decided to try meditation again to see if I could better control the negative thought loops. I started meditating to stop negative thought ruminations, but after doing it for a while I have switched away from just trying to avoid negative thoughts and now enjoy the many benefits meditation offers.
2. What changes has meditation brought to your life?
It may sound cliche, but meditation has brought me clarity and perspective. I arrive to work a little early and turn the lights down in my office and meditate at the start of each day. Meditation gives me a chance to observe what I am thinking about and then set those thoughts aside. As a result, I am calmer and more centered during the day. Thoughts that were disproportionately important before i meditated find their correct place and level of importance. I find that this enhances my whole day as I take time at the beginning of the day to clear my head.
3. Why do you think one should take up meditation?
People spend a lot of time trying to improve their bodies and may read or engage in some sort of learning to improve their brain, but few people take the time to look at how they think. I once read that meditation is like taking a light and shining it on your thoughts, I think that is accurate. I was surprised when I first started meditating how chaotic my mind was, I realized how much more difficult it is to give attention to thoughts and tasks I wanted to give attention to when I had so many other thoughts fighting for my attention. I think people should meditate so that they can better understand why their thoughts pull them away from where they want to direct their focus.
4. What made you stick to Aware as your guide?
Aware works for me. I can meditate where I want, when I want, and I am not left to flounder without instruction. I find the guide’s voice soothing, and I feel the meditation sessions are well thought out and progress logically. There are sessions only a few minutes long for a quick calm and longer sessions for deeper exploration. I get a real sense that the developers care about spreading meditation, it shows in the quality of Aware and the continual improvements made to the program.