The Other Side of 'Me'

That’s how he names his 14-year-long meditation journey, ’from head to heart’! As an engineer, Konstantin Dragov shares having been very intellectual, to the extent that he says he did not even realize the difference between thoughts and feelings! Today, it is different. Konstantin has come to understand his emotional side too. Caring and enthusiastic is how his family looks at him and now he is working on sharing these benefits of meditation, which he experienced, with the people in Bulgaria. Excerpts from his interview:

Q – You say, ‘Your work is your hobby’. How do you enjoy work so much?

My work and doing and teaching meditation just complement each other. If I only work, it brings me boredom and soon I don’t find any joy in it. So, when I alternate it with meditation, I enjoy working much more.

Now I feel and understand that life is not just about earning money but much more. It’s about achieving perfection, attaining peace of mind, giving good quality to my work, having lots of love and compassion for everyone, and then you see a good and happier side of me.

Q – I have read in one of your interviews that when someone asked you, what do you like to do in your free time, you said, ‘I like to teach meditation’.

Yes, definitely. One of the good ways of utilizing my time is being useful to others. And I feel the best way to be useful is to teach meditation. See, if you give material things or food, it lasts for some time but if you teach meditation to people, it will be with them for their whole life. With my own experience, I found that meditation is a very important thing because it positively touches all the aspects of your life. It makes you so focused that you can work much easier and faster. It makes you so intelligent that you can get the best ideas and ultimately become successful in life. Any challenges in your relationships, meditation helps to overcome them.

Another reason I teach meditation is because when I see people happy, it feels good that you have made a change in their life.

Q - We hear that you were not spiritually inclined or associated with service projects earlier, but now you do a lot of service. Do you think meditation empowers you to step out and take responsibility in bringing transformation in people’s life, especially when you don’t come from that background?

Meditation gives me that extra energy which is needed to step out. It also gives a lot of confidence and that inner strength, so doubts don’t come into my mind. I am so focused and confident that I can achieve my goals. Having a faith in the divine also helps a lot because when I meditate, it seems like my connection with the universe and the organizing power has become much closer and so I just relax because I know that everything will be fine.

A very important change that comes with regular meditation is that challenges start looking smaller because somewhere inside, you know that you’ll be able to handle them.

Q - In your view, how has meditation become a necessity today for everyone?

If you see, these days people are so tired, both physically and mentally. There could be a lot of reasons for it - improper food habits, poor-quality sleep and stress due to too many responsibilities. They all need something to boost their energy and meditation is the only thing that can make the change.

Every time when you sit to meditate, you experience something positive inside. If you were feeling sad or tired or negative, then meditation uplifts you.

Also, many people say that after a while, the day or life becomes a little monotonous, doing the same routine again and again. So, with meditation comes a sense of newness to your day, even if you have to do the same thing every day. How does that happen? You just do the same things differently and creatively!

Q - You have taught meditation to professionals, government employees, students, prisoners, people from all walks of life. So, how has the meditation experience of these people been? Is it true that meditation goes beyond caste, culture, gender, age and religion?

Yes, it’s definitely beyond all these things and anyone can do it, no matter what their background and religion or education. It helps everybody. And those who are strong enough to continue it, they see a big change in their lives.

Some of the people on prison courses have shared amazing experiences. One person said that he felt free of negativity which he had inside him. Another said, his sleep had improved - earlier he couldn’t sleep properly but after two days of meditation, he was able to sleep better. One more person shared, he had never had this feeling before – the feeling of starting a fresh life that is useful to others after he leaves the prison.

Q - I read that you are a nature lover so how do you relate your meditation to being with the nature?

When I am with the nature, my mind is calm and still, my senses are very open and enjoying the moment. I am not worrying about the past or the future. That’s exactly what happens in meditation too.

Q - You are a scientist. What, according to you, is the science of meditation?

Well, our brain has two types of waves. The first type is active when we are awake (corresponding to the fact that we are alert) and the other type is active when we are resting (corresponding to the fact that we are not alert at the time of sleep). Now, scientists found meditation as the only unique state of brain where both types of waves are active. This means that in meditation, we are relaxed and alert at the same time.

Q – Scientists are supposed to be very intellectual but meditation has the power to take you much beyond the intellect. Have you experienced anything like this?

As a scientist, you have to be very intuitive. To make a discovery, using intellect is only one aspect but having an intuitive ability, ‘Oh this may be like this, or if I do it like this, it may work’, is another very important aspect. Being a scientist, being intellectual is very natural but this intuition is something that I got with the practice of meditation.

In fact, I remember an instance where my intuition really helped. In my university, my senior once asked me to review her paper. That paper (a scientific publication) was a very important one. I was just going through the paper and there was something there that caught my attention. I just felt that she needed to re-check that portion, I felt it was incorrect. And when she re-checked it, she actually went and changed it. She was so grateful to me because it changed her whole paper around. So, spotting that error was a combination of intellect and intuition.

By Divya Sachdev