How I Found Meditation
I first found meditation about six years ago during a class at the University of Michigan. The instructor, Dr. Martha Travers was teaching a course on contemplative practices, specifically how journaling and sitting meditation can be used in a regular practice. I had long suffered from patterns of obsessive thinking as well as panic symptoms and various anxieties. The practice of meditation gave me a sense of internal peace without any side effects. This is not to say that the practice was instantly easy for me - it still is difficult and certainly feels like a workout. I knew, though, that this practice had unlocked a door to further self-reflection and personal growth.
My Meditation Philosophy
I see meditation as the most streamlined method to strengthen mental muscles. Meditation is often thought of as an easy, relaxing practice, and while it is often relaxing, it is truly a workout. Meditation works out the mental muscles necessary to develop a new relationship with our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Ultimately, we want to obtain balance between the extremes of pushing away and latching onto thought. The goal is to notice when thoughts arise, acknowledge them, and return to the task at hand. By practicing this noticing and returning, we are more likely to react instinctively in this way during everyday life. Lastly, I find meditation to be most beneficial when implemented as a daily practice, not just in moments when we are feeling anxious. If we use meditation proactively rather than reactively, we can alter the terrain on which thoughts arise, rather than dealing with the terrain once the thoughts are already running wild.
A Bit About Me
I joined a PhD in Clinical Psychology program at Hofstra University in late-2015. During my second year of the program, after receiving my Master’s in Clinical Psychology, I started to have doubts as to whether I wanted to stay in the program. As I employed mindfulness techniques with my clients whom I would work with as a part of my clinical training, I became fascinated with meditation as a skill builder and mental strength practice. I decided to leave the program after December 2016 in order to pursue teaching meditation as a stand-alone career.
I am a huge fan of music and all things creative. I play guitar, sing a bit, and find that listening to music serves as a meditation in its own right for me and many of the individuals I work with. I am a man of the outdoors - there is much peace and restoration to be found in the natural world. I often employ walking meditation techniques with my students. Lastly, I am incredibly fascinated with philosophy - I find that meditation opens the doors to considering some of the biggest questions of life and human existence, and philosophy helps me to consider and establish my various truths.