I have not posted for a while. Part of it is the desire to live, as opposed to ''writing'' about it. But I feel this is something that is important enough that deserves to be written about.

I had done some meditation before, as part of yoga, but never gave it too much consideration. I did it, I liked it, but that was it for meditating.

Then, last summer, while climbing and trying to deal with the fear that would inevitably take hold of me every time I looked up at what was ahead, I asked the guide how he dealt with it.

He asked me if I meditated. I was perplexed. Here is a super athlete talking about meditation. I thought it was all about strength and stamina, being in top physical and aerobic shape etc. Of course you have to be in decent shape to go climbing in the mountains, but so much of it is in your head. Your thoughts can actually keep you going, or completely stop you in your tracks.

He talked about meditation as a way of taking a deep breath in the middle of the day. ''That was it??? I deep breath???? I can do THAT!!!!''- I thought. I cannot sit still enough to be able to even read a book,- but I can surely take a deep breath. I loved the thought of that- so simple! No books, no classes, nothing to learn. Just my breath. Sit, lie down, whatever position I chose: then listen to my own breath for 5 minutes. That's it.

It was so incredibly hard, I almost gave up after a few days. Every time I would try it, my head would go into a spinning frenzy. It was scary. It did not seem like anything was happening at all for weeks.

But after those horrible first few weeks, there was a glimmer of hope. The spinning started to lessen a bit, and I started to be able to actually listen to my breath for a few seconds at a time. I'd imagine it going through my body... cleansing it of ''bad stuff''... then some more thoughts would come in... back to the breath... thoughts, breath... thoughts... start the day.

I also struggled a lot, for a while, about what to do about a vision, or a sound. Do I need a vision, do I need a sound? Or is it just my head inventing more thoughts? I tried different things, until I settled on something that became comfortable for me.

These days, I actually wake up a bit earlier in order to meditate before I start the day, just because it feels so good. I have increased the time to between 15 to 20 minutes. If someone had told me half a year ago to take 15 or 20 minutes of my morning in order to meditate, I would have thought ''no way, I have no time for that''. But every day, when I do it, I get up with energy, instead of ''feeling tired''. I have more steady energy throughout the day as well, and actually seem to need less sleep.

It has been half a year of ''breathing''. I have started, little by little, to feel its impact. Whether going through the day, or even playing a difficult concert, I feel that I am able to concentrate better on my task, because there are less voices in my head. I had really hated those voices before, and felt that they were driving me literally crazy. Meditation has actually helped me shove the voices away. Either let them go to the side, or recognize them and let them go away. From coming from a place where I felt that I was doomed to listen to those voices for the rest of my life, this is indeed a welcomed change. A breath of fresh air.

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