The Magic of Meditation

Article by:
Greg de Vries, EO Silicon Valley
Greg de Vries
EO Silicon Valley

I used to be “that” entrepreneur.

I was the guy who was always stressed out, feeling like something was missing in my life, unable to concentrate— the woeful works. It all started in 1994. I had created a computer software and consulting company that quickly took off. By 1998, I had nearly 100 employees, new business was pouring in and money was in the bank. During that time, I also got married and had my first child. Life was good! At least everything looked good on the outside.

Though I had all of this success, something didn’t feel right. Pretty soon, my health began to deteriorate. I developed high blood pressure, suffered from insomnia and was 35 pounds overweight. In order to relax, I needed to drink a beer or have a glass of red wine. In order to sleep, I needed a sleeping pill. I began to feel like I was slowly dying inside. I carried around a subtle sense of anxiety and the feeling that something wasn’t quite finished.

It was then that I discovered meditation. I had toyed around with meditation through my studies of self-development, and I noticed that it made me feel really good. So, I decided to research meditation. Before long, I was practicing a simple breathing meditation every day. By practicing 10 minutes of meditation each morning, I began to notice the following results:

  • My relationships began to improve

  • I began to sleep better at night

  • I had an easier time losing weight and keeping it off

  • Little things that use to send me into a rage

  • didn’t seem to bother me anymore

  • My blood pressure dropped and normalized in a healthy range

  • I lost my desire for unhealthy choices and habits

  • That subtle sense of unrest was slowly being replaced with a sense of peace

The results astounded me. I began to study meditation and variations of its practice in depth. I attended seminars and weekend retreats, read literature on the topic, listened to audio books and met other practicers of meditation. In 2005, I took things one step further by completing a course through the American Institute of Health Care Professionals. I became a Certified Meditation Instructor, and now I teach stress management and well-being exercises to various clients.

Looking back, it’s hard to imagine how much damage I inflicted on my mind and body. The food I ate, the stress I placed on myself, the constant worrying— it all put me in a funk. Now, I feel like a new man. And sure, meditation may not be for everyone. But for me, I found my calling. Throughout my experiences, I learned that what really matters most is how I feel about myself. No amount of business experience could have taught me that.

Breathing Meditation
I tell my friends to practice this simple meditation every day for a week and see if they don’t detect a subtle positive change in the way they feel. I’ve found this to be wholly energizing, and best of all, it doesn’t eat into my day.

  • Turn off your cell phone, find a place you won’t be disturbed and set a timer for 10 minutes.

  • Sit comfortably in a chair, keeping your feet flat on the floor and your back straight.

  • Allow your eyes to gently close.

  • Take a couple of deep, full breaths and feel the air go all the way down into your abdomen. Hold it for a few moments and then exhale through your mouth, letting go of your cares and concerns.

  • Allow your breath to return to its normal and natural rhythm, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.

  • As you gently breathe, notice the point in your body in which you most feel your breathe. That point could be in your chest, stomach area or in your nostrils. Keep breathing until your alarm sounds. We call this the “anchor point.”

  • Keep your attention on the anchor point for the remainder of time.

  • If you become lost in thought or distracted by a noise in the environment, gently let go of the distraction and return your full attention to the anchor point.

  • Keep breathing until your alarm sounds.

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