Sunday 19 April 2020

My thoughts on the Deepak Chopra 21-day Abundance Meditation

Persuaded to meditate
Three weeks ago, I was invited to participate in the Deepak Chopra Creating Abundance: 21-Day Meditation Challenge, the introduction from my friend was easy enough and non-committal, most particularly, it was non-judgemental, we could choose to exit without having to explain ourselves or suffer for it. [Spotify]
I believe everyone invited stayed the course, which speaks more to the persuasive acumen of our friend than anything else. On reflection, I cannot think of anyone else who would have been able to persuade me to engage in this sort of thing that was patently so left field of my vision. I had heard of Deepak Chopra before and I thought he was one of these New-Age gurus who have a surfeit of motivational feel-good spiel that left you just feeling good.
All on willing trust
The medium of communication with the group was a WhatsApp group where the principal for each day posted instructions, a task, a phrase to remember, a mantra, and an audio file that guided the meditation process. There was a preference for documenting all activities in a notebook with longhand writing, something, I do rarely do, yet found quite therapeutic.
I would normally have researched a programme like this before committing, but I took it on trust that it would be a new experience and bought into it. The slight misgiving of chanting mantras of words I had no understanding of left me concerned as I hope that I guard my utterances enough to choose the words I speak carefully, measuring what message I am about to convey.
Tasked tasking tasks
The first day required listing at least 50 people who had influenced my life, it looked like a daunting task, yet, I did exceed that number, and documenting how they have influenced me was a revelation in itself, some assignations would not have been in consideration, if it were not a task. I could see myself working on appreciating all these people more.
By the fifth day, we were being asked to create our own meditation groups by inviting others to participate from a new Day 1, flashes of multi-level marketing went through my mind much as I thought it was quite ambitious to insinuate and expect that level of trust and allegiance to the scheme. Deeper down, it was the most challenging thing of the whole exercise as it pitched itself against every English bone in my body.
It showed that despite the adaptation of the meditation activity to Western cultures the mantras in Sanskrit with the background mood music more classical than Asian, this was not going to leap over cultural boundaries with effortless ease, we are too individualistic to subscribe to communal New-Age and alternative medicine philosophies. I almost dropped out at this point, but in a discussion with my boyfriend, I stayed the course.
Some benefit in it
In general, I think the exercises or tasks were illuminating about relationships, anxieties, understanding place, person, and personality, how we fit in the universe of ideas, events, and people, and how to unburden ourselves with cares, worries, and difficulties that might beset us. Many of these aspects I could relate to from my Christian philosophy, for I could see what we were getting at. Calmness, resolve, and resilience.
I am glad I was invited to participate in this mediation challenge, I saw it as a useful experience, and the daily phrases will come in handy for meditation and thought processes. Though it is unlikely I would enter a challenge like this in the future or in this format, I could see gathering friends for times of reflection, introspection, and the exchange of views and ideas.
My conclusion is, that the challenge is a participatory exercise in discipline to be considered at least once, and you might gain a lot more than you put in it, for me it is knowledge and insight along with a sense of calm. Once I got into the spirit of things, I was looking forward to the next day along with the surprises of leading and direction which inspired me in ways I appreciate a lot. From the audio track, there were times when all that seemed like thank you for taking on this challenge was the Namaste greeting at the end.

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