A journalist by profession, Beatriz Goyoaga has been meditating for 15 years. From mountaineering on the Everest to traveling around the world for 365 days, Beatriz has done all sorts of adventure activities. But meditation has been the most powerful thing yet that she has ever experienced. She also likes to have a nice cup of tea but for her, the most beautiful moments are when she meditates.
Q - How long has it been since you started meditating? What is your normal meditation routine like?
Beatriz: I’ve been meditating for 15 years now. I started my meditation when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar came to Argentina 15 years ago. Since then, I have not stopped doing my practices. I normally take a shower and then do some breathing exercises and 20 minutes of meditation.
In the evening, when I finish my routine work, I meditate for another 20 minutes. Sometimes when I’m away from office - waiting for the dentist, or in a flight, I also meditate then. So I take the opportunity to meditate whenever I can.
Q - Can you share how you have evolved from being a non-meditator to a meditator? What is the transformation that you have experienced?
Beatriz: I think meditation has added an inner equilibrium in my life that I can go through the crises that life puts in front of me. I don’t have a choice of getting rid of the crisis but now I have this quality, this equilibrium that allows me to go through whatever life is going to bring in to my door.
Q - Since you were closely involved with the mass meditation that happened in Argentina in September 2012, could you share something about it?
Beatriz: Mass meditation is different than individual meditation. A group gives you an extra push to meditate. The Argentina event was put together by 2000-3000 people. The energy just went higher and higher, as more and more people got involved. And with this high momentum, 150 000 people showed up and you could see them going to the park with a yoga mat, or a cushion or a meditation kit. It was a demonstration for peace, for love. They were going to meditate for peace in the world.
When I got in and looked to the horizon, I could just see the heads to the end of my sight. And then Sri Sri Ravi Shankar came and made us meditate. The first Om that we chanted united the vibrations from all the people. By the time we had the second Om, the first was almost reaching the end of the crowd, so this long Om lasted for over five minutes!
Q - How was the experience meditating with 150 000 other people?
Beatriz: We felt that we are gone! We didn’t feel we were there. It was like we’re not the body, not on the earth.
When I opened my eyes, so much time had passed. I think each one had their own beautiful experience.
Q - What motivated you to organize such a large meditation event?
Beatriz: Meditation is trendy, fashionable in the world. It's a very archive, ancient technique. Now, all the movie actors are beginning to meditate. We meditate in the prisons, schools, offices, everywhere. Not that they want to become very spiritual but it makes them more productive.
So we decided that meditation was the thing to do. We thought those who hadn't tried it, would be interested to see how it is to sit in a group of 150 000 people in meditation and those who already knew about it, would know its power too.
There were some good after-effects of so many people meditating together – 150 000 people go home happy and spread happiness. If each one of them has 5 family members and you multiply 150 000 by 5, that makes it over a million people. That makes a very big impact on the society to have all these happy people.
Q - You have been traveling a lot and have been teaching several meditation courses. How has been the experience of your participants?
Beatriz : It is before and after. When I go around Latin America and Europe, more and more people become fans of meditation because they feel this works very fast; they feel that this makes their mind calm down within 20 minutes. And they feel better. After meditation, they feel more focused, brighter and can make better decisions with a clear mind.
Q - Someone who is beginning to meditate, what kind of meditation tips would you like to give them?
Beatriz: First of all, I would advise them to take a meditation course. The teacher will tell them how to meditate through a mantra and that has tremendous advantages. A mantra is a sound vibration, which will lead you into deeper meditation when you repeat it.
Another meditation tip I would say that you sit with these three notions – you are nothing, you want nothing and you do nothing. If you are very hungry and you are thinking, “Oh! I’m dying for a pizza”, you won’t be able to meditate because you are thinking of a pizza. You sit with these three notions and meditation will happen by itself. You are meditated upon, it’s not like you meditate. It’s like the food gets digested, you don’t digest it.
Go on a date with yourself every day for 20 minutes and don’t miss your date! Just sit, close your eyes and you will see the experience. You will see yourself smiling much more.
I would also say, find a place where you can regularly meditate because the vibrations do stay around. So if you meditate at the same place, you find it easier every time.
By Divya Sachdev