I grew up in Japan with a Buddhist family but really didn’t know anything about meditation. The first encounter was in NY around 2012…. I picked up a book called Surfing the Himalayas. The book had some visualization teachniques of “blue sky” and what not. I meditated when I felt like it and it was nice. That was pretty much it. Didn’t stick much.
It all changed in 2014 when I had a big break up with my teacher and mentor in Japan. We fought over emails and phone, didn’t not go well. It was just like I was shot in my heart and there was a huge hole left over. I really couldn’t function and started to have panick attacks, anxiety, and nightmares. It’s all a blur how I actually started meditating… Anyhow thankfully I found Mindfulness Meditation by UCLA on podcast, then HeadSpace. I started 10-15 min everyday. The rest is history.
After about a year of practice alone everyday, I started to look into different Buddhist temples in New York City. For my surprise , there are so many! I went one of Zen centers once a week for a while and Tibetian temple. I was practicing 20 min everyday with HeadSpace. Probably at that point started therapy and some medication, anti-depression and anxiety. Medication and meditation both helped. But I got off meds after 6 months or so. It was getting expensive and the dose was going higher. I didn’t want to rely on it forever.
What’s funny is with all that heart break that was when I had my dream come true, being on Broadway production of the King and I. The high I felt and the low I experienced were tough to deal. I have tremendous appreciation in the meditation practice.