Reflecting on my experience of mediation, I was amazed that I had meditated almost every week of the semester, and I was also pleased by the resulting benefits. Depending on my mood, the idea of sitting quietly for one hour could be excruciating. However, considering my changing work schedule, meditation allowed me the flexibility to attend each week. I am glad that I did. Meditation has been a platform for achieving peace of mind and self-assurance. In William Shakespeare's comedy, “Twelfth Night, or, What You Will,” many characters act in ways antithetical of the goals of Shambala meditation: showing gentleness to oneself and to others. Reading of selfishness, deceit, and mischief in“Twelfth Night” allowed me to analyze my own improvements through the practice of meditation.
What makes “Twelfth Night” comical is the outrageous characters, who commonly act on selfishness. For instance, Orsino believes himself to be utterly in love with Olivia. Meanwhile Olivia is in mourning, and turns down his advances. It soon becomes apparent that Orsino is not actually in love with her, but more so captivated by the fact that she is unattainable. Here, Orsino is acting selfishly, and fails to consider the well-being of Olivia. If Olivia had accepted his advances, and later was rejected by Orsino, she would then be both in mourning, and heartbroken. Likewise, the drunken antics of Sir. Toby and Sir. Andrew result in people tricked into behaving like fools, getting into fights, and going to the madhouse, for the sake of their enjoyment. Their behavior is the epitome of selfishness, as they entertain themselves at the expense of other people. This comedic story offers the reader insight into the effects of selfishness, and has allowed me to realize my own personal growth, experienced through meditation.
While meditating almost every week often seemed unappealing, overall, the lasting effects were worth the time spent. The goal of meditation is to remove selfishness and insecurities, in order to become more present in the world, in order to be more of service to others. With the daily stressers of school and being away from home, meditation allowed the means to maintain peace of mind-most of the time. The tranquil setting of the Shambala Center, coupled with the kind insights of the meditation leaders, allowed me to leave my sessions feeling relaxed and serene. More simply, mediation allowed me to more easily not “sweat the small stuff.” This allowed me to be more present to others, and helped thwart my instincts of selfishness. For example, when I feel stressed, I often feel disconnected from others and more trapped in my anxieties of deadlines. Through mediation I felt that I was more connected with others this semester than in my previous years at school.
The effects of mediation has allowed me peace of mind, and for that reason, it was my favorite experience from this semester. Through self discipline and commitment, I meditated almost every week for this entire semester; and the benefits for myself and my relationships with others are proof that mediation is worth the commitment. As the semester closes, I plan to continue going and improving my practice, which will ultimately allow me to become a better person.