Ho, ho, ho — Merry Finals Week. Where I’ve been thoroughly procrastinating on just about everything. And I’m a little disappointed because I’ve been meditating and shouldn’t one of the byproducts of such spiritual endeavors be… a lessened need to get sucked into the youtube rabbit hole?
That aside, I do want to talk about the form of meditation I’ve gotten myself into this past week. Firstly, I want to explain WHY I care about meditation in the first place. I just personally believe that a daily meditation practice is good for the body and mental abilities — among other things. I think that meditation will help me to be the better person I talked about in my last post. I think it will help me integrate into my being the qualities and lessons I only have an intellectual understanding of right now. And I was looking for a method that might feel better than just “focusing on the breath”.
Never heard of it before? That’s because it’s only 17 years old and … kinda weird. And Korean.
Let me explain the basics of it. It’s a form of meditation developed by a Korean guy named Woo Myung. It’s subtraction meditation. You release attachments to things of this world so that you can be free to experience the rest of your life in the “real” world. A world that doesn’t just come out of your head, but ever in the present moment experiencing things for what they really are. Sounds awesome! And the technique, as I’ve experienced thus far, is an excellent idea. There’s something very buddhist about it, too.
So — if you’re reading this because you’re googling trying to find out if Muam Meditation is for you, I feel your pain. There really isn’t any… reliable first-hand accounts of Muam Meditation anywhere online.
I think I’m the first person to actually write an honest blog post about it. I know you’re curious so I’ll describe my visit to the center:
I come in and am greeted by two beautiful and happy young Korean women. I must say, the helper (that’s what the meditation instructors are called) I talk to the most has excellent communication skills and knows how to make the person she’s talking to feel very special. It makes me want to be around her all the time. She explained to be the basic philosophy of Muam Meditation. The goal is to be a “complete human” who lives in the “real” world and will never “die” because you identify with the real world and not the world you’ve created in your head. (side note for all you spirit junkies, I’ll mention that after a few minutes in the house, I felt a thick energy all around. It almost made me feel sleepy. And my head was resonating almost the way it does when I meditate on my own. It felt weird and I don’t know what it means. ) I was hoping for a free session, but you never get to do the meditation until you pay. It’s like a gym membership — $150/month. And you’re to go to the meditation center and meditate with a helper as many times as you want for that month. Also, they fed me a lot of Korean food omg…
I paid for a month. I really wanted to see what this was like. My sessions start out with imagining yourself dying. This makes it easier to throw away attachments. If you pretend you’re dead, you don’t care about your car or your homework that’s due tomorrow. Next, you imagine yourself flying far away from earth to a north star. You sit on it and bring up images from your past. You throw away each image into a black whole. The goal is to eventually throw away every single image from your past.
Great technique and I’d wager that someone has developed a similar technique somewhere before. They just didn’t come up with a way to make money off of it.
Yes, I feel results. They are FEELINGS thus far, not hard results. I’m still procrastinating on my homework. But I have a little less anxiety when I’m around strangers and other people — something that is really important to me. And I’m more aware of when the demon of reliving stupid stuff over and over creeps into my mind. I think this is great for just a week! I can really see how its easy for people to get sucked into this.
So what’s cult-y about it? The stuff I’ve read online about the organization of Muam is disturbing. Not in a “the leader has sex with his students” kind of way, but in a “Woah, this is a cult” kind of way. I don’t know if its true because… all of these things I’ve read are posted by anonymous people I can’t contact to verify information so I’m not going to repeat what I’ve read on my blog. And there is SO LITTLE information. So… I’ll just say google it for yourself and make your own discernment.
Also, as beautiful and wonderful the helpers are, everything seems a little too scripted. Even if you read a positive review of Muam online — even THAT seems scripted. They constantly repeat about how amazing the method is. How they now live a life of no stress. How grateful they are to great teacher (that’s how they refer to the creator of Muam).
After reading some of the things I found online, I don’t plan to renew my monthly membership to the Muam meditation center, but I will make the most out of the month that I did buy. I feel that the way the organization is set up — they basically sullied a beautiful meditation method. At first, you feel the great results that come from meditation as I am feeling now. But because there are “levels” and an “end goal” within the organization, I can see people getting caught up in getting to the next level rather than continuously assessing if the new meditation techniques of each level is actually affecting their day-to-day life in a positive way. I don’t want to get sucked into that or any of the other stuff I’ve read about.
As for Russell Brand…
he doesn’t do Muam Meditation. He does Transcendental Meditation. Which, I found out, costs $750 (because I’m a student. It’s higher for you normal people) and is actually a simple meditation. I am learning something that is essentially the same thing for free — thankyou google and pdf searches I’ll share that with you at another time. But let me rave about his new stand up comedy. Russell is such an intelligent man and I’d love to have dinner with him sometime. His show essentially highlights the flaws of highly respected martyrs such as Che, Jesus Christ, Ghandi, etc.
I have to say. Watching his show coupled with meditating everyday is really helping me get over my insecurities. Anyone you look up probably has a totally effed up flaw. So you and your insecurities are in good company.
Princess Diana, Martin Luther King, just name ANYONE that YOU look up to. Anyone who has been KILLED for something YOU believe in. They had flaws. They might have the same flaw people gripe at you about. They may have a flaw that if you found out what it was, you’d be disgusted (Michael Jackson?). So when someone said some things about me this week, I couldn’t feel offended. I’m in good company. This furthers my belief that just doing the best you can can still make you great.
Leave me a comment! What do you think about meditation and what do you think of this Muam meditation? Do you know anyone who’s done it? And what do you think of the Messiah Complex (Russell Brand)
clip I’ve posted below. Woah! Okay, youtube has the whole dang thang!
I’m officially in my mid-twenties. This blog post is a bit of a reflection on the frame-shift I’ve made in my mind. Because I just now realized it is significant. Note-worthy. Literally life changing. And may be related to the fact that I’ve been alive for a quarter century.
Leading up to my birthday last week, I removed stressors from my life. Believe it or not, I haven’t been spending 6 hours a day on youtube. I finished my yoga teacher training, worked my last weekend, got honest and disarmed contempt that was brewing in my home, got my teeth cleaned, but most importantly, released this heavy chip that has been on my shoulder for the past 12 years.
Since I was 13 years old, I’ve been obsessed with success. I wanted the perfect GPA, a full-ride scholarship, a thriving business that essentially ran itself while I was in school… Year after year I’d fall short. I’ll spare the details, but it felt like there was a demon that purposely thwarted my goals and led me to self-sabotage of them. This pattern of failing to achieve “success” continued for 12 years. “Success” was the chip on my shoulder coupled with the past experience of constantly and consistently failing to achieve it.
I should note what “success” meant to me when I was 13. It meant being independent, having control of your life, and doing the things that bring you bliss. I didn’t know what those things were at 13, but I knew it wasn’t the step-wise life I was living at the time (step 1. go to class, step 2. go home, step 3. study, step 4. sleep, repeat).
Success means something similar to me now. Mostly, I’d like to get paid for the large amount of blood, sweat, and heart I pour into all things I’m passionate about. And I got really obsessed about this. Which kind of takes the fun out of it.
In an attempt to get out of this cycle, I dug really deep in to self-help stuff when I was 13. To the point that it was making me sick. To this day, I can’t read a “positive thinking!” blog with a straight face. And eventually (like… a few months ago) I thought “This stuff does not work.” So I stopped caring. I stopped caring about the spiritual tools I’ve collected over the years. I stopped caring about attaining success. I stopped making vision boards. I spent a lot of time watching Netflix and tending to hangovers. I stopped making goals. I stopped making lists. I just stopped. Success did not exist anymore. The only thing that mattered was being a good and happy person.
THAT was the much needed break I needed. I stopped viewing every single action as a “stepping stone” to “success” and just existed and tried to be a good person. I happily kept an idle mind and ate tons of cookies and I have a cavity to prove it now, but it was so worth it. Because I called people out on BS, owned up to my BS, stopped striving for things that were stressing me out, and stopped turning the things that I love and am passionate about into cash cows. I did things just because its fun, I dropped the desperate networking tactics, and made my only goal to be better at being good to people.
Yep, so that’s the shift. F— success and just learn how to be a good and happy person.
I’m not even going to say “the money will follow” or whatever the hell people say these days. I have no flippin’ idea if the money will follow. I have no idea what will come of this, I just know after 12 years I was tired and not-caring is something that feels good right now. — Ok, yes, secretly, deep down I think my “success” will come. Maybe I’m just trying to get out of my own way.
And now that this chip on my shoulder is gone and I have a new frame-work I’m viewing myself and the world in, I feel safe making goals now. I feel like I can make a list now and not expect pain and “Why me!” and “I SUCK AT EVERYTHING I CARE ABOUT” temper tantrums anymore. I feel free!
This is not advice for you. This is me telling my 25th birthday story (it was the best birthday party I’ve ever had, btw). But it might work for you.
If you can relate to me. 12 years of burn out will do that. Plus I’m in a 2 year graduate program so that’s 1.5 more years of not-caring I can do before the world spits me out and forces me to work. Plus I work with a doctor who’s getting into the wellness market so I have an awesome professional relationship that I love. So — I’ll say I am currently in a good, “safe” position to not-care. I’m ever thankful for that.
Stay in touch! What do you think of my “not-caring, just be a good and happy person” experiment? Do any of you live by this? Am I being incredibly stupid? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. After re-reading this like 3 times, I realized that there was something I did very differently that changed my mind-set. To be honest, I have tried “not-caring” in the past and failed — ultimately admitting that I was still obsessing. The key that I missed in the past was forgiveness. I really “got” it when I went to a Dani Johnson conference. I’ll make a post about it later. It may be helpful to some of you
P.S.S. Here’s the best “I LOVE IT” remix. I don’t like any of the other ones.
Chris Ashton Kutcher gave advice that I’d been trying to live up to since I was 10 years old.
If you haven’t seen this clip, you’re late. Watch it. Now. It’s 5 minutes, sheesh, cmon! If it makes you feel better, my good friend had to show this to me last Friday :S And then last night was when I watched the wish-I-had-a-bigger-booty Miley Cyrus thing.
In today’s post I’m going to share with you some of my weaknesses. The ways in which I didn’t take Chris’s advice. And what has caused me to make a change now.
Chris’s first tip was to work hard with the little jobs he had which brought about the next opportunity.
This is a principle of life I’m trying to beat into my skull. “If you can be faithful with the little things, you will be made ruler over much more”. Somehow, I let time slip away from me. I get caught up on facebooking with no purpose, googling pics with no purpose, and my worst time suck of all… youtube with no purpose. It leaves me alone in my PJs at 11pm with a mountain of work I had been so excited to get started on 5 hours earlier.
Here’s the thing. Here’s the kicker! I’ve spent a lot of time lamenting this about myself. Lamenting that I wasted so much time and ignoring what I was actually doing right. Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to work with a like-minded business woman who’s also a doctor as her in-house dietitian. This opportunity would not have been mine for the taking if I did not put in the hard work (that actually came from procrastination… I spent time googling nutrition when I was supposed to be writing software code) into my passion for learning nutrition.
His second tip was to be sexy… ie. Smart, Thoughtful and Generous.
Listen, I got the smart part down. And sometimes I’m generous, sometimes I’m not. The part that I actually struggle with is the thoughtful part. It’s hard because there are things about being thoughtful that I never thought of as… being thoughtful. Asking a complete stranger how their day was is being thoughtful. Calling your cashier by their name because they have a name tag so you know it is thoughtful. Basically treating every person you meet as if they are, or could be, a dear friend. That’s thoughtful. And once I realized that, it suddenly became clear to me how my world, relationships, and circumstances could be different if one were to become more thoughtful.
His last tip is the most beautiful. It’s something I had been thinking about since I was 10 years old. Something I pondered and wondered if anyone would agree with me. That the world we live in has been constructed by people who are no smarter than you… so why not design your own life?
Haha, ask my mom. She’ll tell you I’ve been trying to grasp this concept for a long time, but haven’t been able to actually live it.
This past weekend I went to an event called First Steps to Success hosted by a woman named Dani Johnson. She’s a multi-millionaire who came from an abusive home, was homeless, and earned her first million by the age of 21, I think. Or maybe 23. Anyway, now she’s teaching people how to become a millionaire without sacrificing… your life. Your relationships. Your health. Your spirituality.
My first distance mentor ever was Marie Forleo who showed me that is it possible to “have it all”, but this Dani Johnson lady is showing me ‘how’ to actually do it. And it is as simple as the concepts Chris Ashton Kutcher gave at the Teen Choice Awards.
The problem is that most of us keep advice like this at a conceptual level. Some of you are like me and spend a lot of time thinking and writing about it, but haven’t figured out how to implement it consistently.
At the moment, I think the things that have held me back are:
#1 – not taking control of my time. You can DESIGN your life, whether you a broke-arse hood rat or a lavish housewife of atlanta, by taking control of your time. This is something I’m working on right now — in a way I’ve never done before.
#2 – being thoughtful to others in the way I described. Asking people to tell you MORE about themselves. Even people you think you already know.
Let me know in the comments what is holding you back from consistently following advice like Chris Kutcher’s.
I watched this music video of Iggy Azalea… consider this the beat of the week:
And makes me feel like I have to literally run away from home to “make it”. All the success stories of women I like or admire are kind of the same. Choose one:
#1 – You ran away or risked going broke and homeless
#2 – You had support from friends and family
And here I am, “girl after college” with neither of these. I’m not willing to risk homelessness… because I’m going to graduate school! And I’ve never ever had the support of my family when it comes to these crazy uncommon “childish” dreams of mine.
I’m beginning to wonder if my fear of taking a huge leap is what is holding me back. Because I have loads of failure.
I was rejected from working at Lululemon twice, even though some of my Lulu friends said I’d be a “perfect fit”.
And I was rejected from Roadtrip Nation twice… the first time they rejected me because I know what I wanted (and the show is for people who don’t…?) and this second time because I’m not what the director is looking for (23 is too old… and they already had their “old” person chosen)
My Beyonce video entry got no love from Pepsi and won me … nothing. And this is honestly the highest quality video I’ve ever made (which is either a cool thing or just really sad…. you be the judge)
I enter scholarship contests I feel I “can win no problem” and lose… miserably!
Why am I telling you all this?
#1 – When I make it, people hungry for the same success will find this and stop feeling like a loser
#2 – I’m trying to get a grip on what “success” actually means.
I used to feel so bad. So SO SOO bad about failure. In elementary school, I would cry when I didn’t understand a math problem in school. My dad used to say that he actually liked that about me because, to him, it meant that I would fight and work to attain excellence. But did I? I don’t think he knew that I would secretly give up and cry out of frustration that I had been defeated.
Since elementary school, I encountered more failure. And more. And embarrassing failure. All that’s left is bankruptcy. Holla if you beat me to that rock-bottom?
So I decided to make this a… “PROJECT” of sorts. How many things can I desire and fail to achieve this year? And CONGRATULATIONS on it! Because failure is necessary for success. And fear of failure is going to MESS YOU UP!
Don’t believe me? Then take Blake Lively’s word on it. First and youngest self-made female billionaire.
And I don’t know if this is the speech where she says it or not, but her father used to sit them down at the dinner table and ask “WHAT DID YOU FAIL AT TODAY?” and if you said “Nothing.” He’d say “Aw, that’s too bad!”
Hi buddha babies,
Udo here. Yep. I’m back. What happened?
- I had a domain/hosting fiasco with Google. Everything I ever wrote was deleted!
- School was kicking my little tushie and I didn’t know if I’d be accepted into graduate school
- and worst of all… my father passed away
I wish he was still here. He’d hug me and tell me he can’t wait to get me a gift because I did get into graduate school. He’d give me business advice. I’d talk to him about boys for the first time ever… and here comes the waterworks.
Change, especially in the form of LOSS, is a beast…
But where’s the sense in losing hope? One of my father’s last words to me was to never, ever give up.
And when you really think about it, what else can you do? If you are met with loss or failure and decide to give up, is it worth the heart-wrenching feeling of knowing you didn’t give it your all and try, try, try until the end? It’s absolutely NOT worth it for me. When you have an inner sense that you have a mission in life, giving up makes no sense. Giving up can’t even come into your consciousness It’s like asking a dog to fly. Oh, wait that actually would be pretty cool, hah!
So I’m back. With a vengeance!
- I’m moving into my first apartment!
- I got into graduate school (nutrition), finishing yoga teacher training, and getting my health coach certificate … it’s a no brainer that I finally started my web-preneur wellness business
- I’m taking my dance and pole fitness career to a whole ‘nother level
- and I’m back on the youtube
I’ve changed the tag-line of this project to a “no-BS journey” to fulfilling our dreams. Because when I finally took action on making some of those dreams come true — I was met with some brutal truths I couldn’t have really known until I took action towards my dreams
Truth: Some people will decide they don’t like the way you’ve changed
Response: That’s okay, in fact that is WONDERFUL. Living the way I was before was MISERABLE! I’d rather move on towards my dreams without an unsupportive friend.
Truth: You probably suck at selling your passions
Response: Didn’t know this before, but being a good business person is not an in-born trait or something you can buy. There are a host of skills that you have to develop over time with consistent practice.
Truth: You will be STRESSED OUT!
Response: You have to prevent stress and de-stress. It’s not something you have to learn; you already know what makes you feel gppd. Laugh as much as possible. Have an hour or 2 a week to yourself. This sounds so cliche, but when you’re following your passions, you will get stressed out and you can’t let stress suck the passion out of ya.
Speaking of de-stressing, I had an awesome 4th of July! Check it out
Until next time,