A story comes to mind of the earliest experience I had with meditation and spirituality. When I was traveling through Nepal with my friend we came across a beautiful little Tibetan prayer building one day. In the town, there was an important spiritual event going on. The big lama of Katmandu had come over to teach all the local lama the new mantras. It was a huge event for the village and all the surrounding ones with offerings and festive meals for the entire village.
Even though neither I nor my friend was religious, or is especially spiritual. We were both curious and join the event carefully navigating the cultural landscape not to offend anyone but trying to participate as much as possible.
We sat with the lamas while they chanted their new mantras, sit in a small room with 15 to 20 lamas chanting and playing their instruments is a special experience in itself. But the most interesting moment was when you would close your eyes and just be, letting the vibrations of the room take over. Though I had never formally meditated before that day, when I closed my eyes it felt like I was miles away, I was in a different state of mind altogether.
I tell you this story because something clicked for me. I’ve always assumed that moment had an important impact on me but I’ve never been able to pinpoint what it did, until now. Something got shook lose when I sat there with all of those lama’s, in that moment I felt what it could be like living and being in a different state of mind through meditation.
Many of us go into meditation and mindfulness but we honestly have little idea what to do, what it is, or how it works. We’re all curious and for some of us, that curiosity takes us a long way but others lose sight and quit. Taking a teacher can, just like I experienced in the Himalayas, give us a glimpse of where we’re headed or what’s possible. Bring us into the right setting, takes us into certain states more easily as we ride on the peaceful and calm wave of the person we are with.
In my life, I’ve noticed that when I’m calm and peaceful this state is relatively easily conveyed to others around me, as we all undoubtedly have noticed the opposite when someone is excited or in a state of high emotions we tend to be too. Hence, it feels like I too can carry people into those different states of mind. We’re all look for a certain amount of peace through meditation and this feeling can be transferred by other people.
Seeing or being around peaceful people let us tap into our empathy networks and mirror neurons helping us to become more peaceful too. So if you're struggling to find peace or to meditate by yourself perhaps it might be useful for you to surround yourself with peaceful people. People that radiate calm to you, it might be a meditation teacher or just a friend who is always at ease and relaxed.