My Experience with 45 Years of Meditation and Why I Teach It
Updated: Oct 27
October 23, 2020,
I started meditating when I was 27 years old in 1975. I find it interesting that the brain is not fully developed until we are 25 to 27 years old and that 27 is the age of many rock stars death. Maybe a coincidence but my story would tend to support that something changes in our late 20s. For me, I had spent much of my 20s stoned on weed. For some unconscious reason, I made the shift from weed to meditation at that age. I had been interested in Eastern mysticism from my late teens and had read (without much understanding) Be Here Now, Alan Watts, Thomas Merton and other similar texts. So when I had the opportunity to learn meditation, I took it. I continued to smoke weed but less and less so as my meditation practice took hold.
Within a year of beginning to meditate, I changed course from being a hippie working in a bookstore (which was not difficult to do while stoned) and finished my graduate work getting a Masters degree in 1978. I taught at a community college for a year before beginning what turned out to be a 40 year career in academic publishing in 1979. I thought I had simply moved from the high of weed to the more subtle but satisfying high from meditation. But Life does not proceed as we think it should. I found that over time, I had switched from weed to alcohol. Alcohol after all was much more conducive to climbing up the corporate ladder which I did during my 40 year publishing career. I continued to meditate twice a day every day. The combination of alcohol and meditation served me well at the time as I devoted my energy to being a successful publishing sales person and later executive. Alcohol numbed me to the damage I was doing to people I cared for as I ruthlessly focused on my career; meditation gave me the focus and energy to perform well in that career. Ironically, meditation and alcohol worked very well together to create a certain range of energies to fuel my working life. And when I became too inebriated from the alcohol, or hungover, meditation sobered me up and energized me so I could still perform well. So meditation helped me in my 20s and 30s to grow from an aimless and purposeless life to one focused almost exclusively on building a career. And it worked in that I moved up the ladder and was financially rewarded for the time and energy I put into my career.
But alcohol insidiously and increasingly became a problem for me. Meditation helped but could not stop the slow slide into alcohol addiction. In 2009, I checked myself into a hospital for a week of detox and then into rehab for 30 days to begin a journey into sobriety. The 30 days in Rehab was transformational for me. While in Rehab, I made the decision to leave the corporate world when I could and start my own company. I wanted to try to do business in a way that did not harm people but serve them. Colleagues and customers alike. I did so a few months later in the spring of 2010 starting up a publishing sales and marketing company. I am not sure I could have done that if I were not sober and practicing meditation daily (which I had done continuously since 1975). My post rehab meditation practice deepened and my spiritual growth significantly accelerated. My new found sobriety and deepened meditation practice expanded my Awareness so that for the first time in decades, I became more and more “clear” in my daily life. I no longer used meditation as a technology to “sober up” so I could work effectively even if I were somewhat inebriated or hungover. Meditation now became a powerful tool for expanding Awareness or Consciousness. Over the past several years, I have experienced glimpses for short periods of time of what the spiritual texts call Samadhi or pure Awareness. My compassion for and connection with other living beings have become a natural and significant aspect of who I am. And my sense of who I am has shifted from identifying myself as just a human being to that of a spiritual being experiencing the world through the human senses. The journey I am now on is one filled with joy and love. And for that I credit sobriety and meditation... and the teachers who continue to guide and inspire me.
In 2018, I dissolved my publishing sales company and formed Dragonfly Rising to teach and coach people meditation….a technology that has served me so well over 45 years. Dragonfly Rising also serves to coach people in Recovery from addiction so that they may lead lives of meaning and purpose and peace. I became a Chopra Certified Meditation teacher in 2017 (thank you Deepak), a certified yoga teacher in 2018 (thank you Kia Miller), and a certified yoga informed Recovery Coach in 2019 (thank you Tommy Rosen and Recovery 2.0). Today I have an underlying contentment, no matter what challenges and obstacles come my way, that I treasure very much. Like many others who have discovered what meditation and sobriety can do for us, I am now thrilled to teach and share meditation and other tools for sobriety and happiness.
If you would like to learn to meditate or deepen your meditation practice or are in Recovery from addiction, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form on my website https://www.dragonflyrising.com/contact.