Having been brought up in United States, she had seen most people having a fast-paced, stressful, somewhat superficial life. She felt the need to slow down a little and delve more deeply into life, to go beneath the surface, and that’s when she discovered meditation. She was aware of the growing research about meditation, and scientific evidence pulled her into it. "Not long after, the scientific evidence turned into experiential evidence," she says.
Joan Goodrum started meditating young (when she was in her early 20s) and has been meditating ever since. It’s been almost 45 years and she explains how meditation has been the perfect recipe for her amazing life.
The newly discovered flavor of life – Enjoyment in daily activities!
"At first, I was introduced to a form of meditation that was not from Art of Living. I was pretty happy with what I had learned. But somehow I knew the calm I would experience during meditation would last only as long as I meditated. So, at that time, meditation and daily-life activities were like two separate entities for me. Neither would complement the other."
"When I learned Sahaj Samadhi Meditation, the experience was different. I was able to carry the calm and peace I would experience during meditation to whatever I did during the day. I would simply start enjoying whatever I did, and that’s when I discovered this new flavor of life."
"I became quicker and much more efficient. I was centered and a better decision maker. One major change was that I stopped vacillating over things and procrastinating. Instead, I did whatever was necessary right away."
Flavor two: Strength to overcome crises
"With regular practice, I developed the skill to withstand any crisis I would come across in life. I started realizing that when I meditate, I experience such deep rest and feel so fresh and radiant that somehow things do not bother me as much as they would have earlier.
When we are stressed and irritated, even little things can bother us so much. On the other hand, when we are calm, we are centered and gain the ability to think clearly, respond intelligently, and do whatever needs to be done."
"One of the major crises I experienced was when within a short period of time both my parents died and my marriage ended. Just before that, my daughter had met with a major accident and was taking some time to recover. When all this happened, I definitely felt some sadness, but it didn't overpower me, it didn't break me, and I knew that the meditation had made me stronger to sail through it all unblemished. The surprising thing was that even in the midst of all these crises, I felt happiness."
Flavor three: Better health leading to a happy mind
"I realized that meditation has immense healing power. It also has immense protective power against illnesses. With regular practice, getting sick was a rare thing. And if I did get sick, I would recover quickly."
"When we meditate, every cell of our body gets rest and so every cell is healthy. And so we are able to avoid stresses and illnesses."
"In the same way that a machine that keeps getting oiled works better and longer, meditation oils our body for a longer and healthier life."
Flavor four: Joy in doing service
"With a bundle of amazing experiences I had gathered from meditation, there was an increased urge in me to go out and teach people how to be stronger. So I started teaching people meditation. I have taught many people from different backgrounds, countries, religions, race, and age groups."
"One of my best experiences have been teaching meditation to people in prisons. The prisoners had such amazing experiences. The transformation was so immense and immediate in most of them. They shared that they had never felt so much joy and that they would have never done what they did had they learned meditation before."
"Gradually, as I became a regular meditator, many of my myths about meditation broke. I also encountered many people who had various myths about meditation. If you are one of the people who believe in some of these myths, I would like to bring them to light."
"One of the myths I had was that I needed to meditate for hours to experience real peace of mind. That myth was broken when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar took us to a cave temple in India and had us meditate. When we came out of it, I was pretty sure we had meditated for more than half an hour, but I was taken by surprise when I learned that we had meditated for only 15 minutes. The peace was so intense!"
"A myth that many people have is that meditation involves concentration or some sort of visualization. Well, from my own experience of doing and teaching Sahaj Samadhi meditation, it’s the reverse. Sahaj Samadhi meditation is completely effortless. You simply have to sit with your eyes closed, and you will find yourself effortlessly going into meditation."
"One of the benefits of meditation is the ability to concentrate and focus the mind outside of meditation. Many young meditators have shared that with regular practice they are able to concentrate better on their studies."
"Another very common myth that people have is that meditation is related to some religion or belongs to a particular set of people. I have taught meditation to so many people from different religious backgrounds, and everyone has benefitted."
"These days, meditation is so important for everyone. I mean, these days there are so many expectations and demands from a person—at home, at work, at school—so you need peace, you need to be energetic, you need clarity, and an extra edge to be able to manage everything you need to. So it doesn't matter if you are a Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Hindu—you still need meditation by your side, and those who have it have an advantage over others."