Posts tagged meditation
Escaping the Matrix with Meditation
Helene Clabecq - meditation retreat matrix

Last month, I secretly took off to Palma, Spain, to attend and preview a private meditation retreat at a Lama’s house who had studied religions for over 40 years with a particular inclination for Buddhism.

The concept of the retreat was to get out of the matrix through meditative techniques.

I didn’t realize how deeply lost I was in that matrix until we took the time to reflect upon it in peace, away from all distractions, in the countryside of Mallorca.

First of all, what do I mean by “matrix”? It’s the idea that happiness depends on “having”.

It’s thinking: “I’m happy because…” or  “I’ll be happy when…”.

In fact, the conceptual idea of happiness that is commonly shared in the western society nowadays depends on 8 “superficial” motivations:

  • Seeking pleasure / Avoiding pain

  • Seeking gain / Avoiding loss

  • Seeking celebrity / Avoiding anonymity

  • Seeking praise / Avoiding blame

Consequently, the goal of my meditation retreat was to deconstruct and lose attachment to those motivations, realize that change is internal, be more in the moment and learn to observe whatever happens in my life without reacting emotionally (or let’s be honest, at least, not as intensely).

At first, as I started to lose attachment to those motivations, I felt extremely low. I was surprised to notice that detoxifying my mind from those addictions affected me physically as well. It was like taking a really cold mental shower.

In fact, interestingly enough, after having interviewed over 300 people all over the world on their definition of success and happiness, I had already come to the conclusion that happiness was indeed a mindset, not a thing. Things are illusions of happiness.

Which is also the reason why I stopped marketing random products.

But I had never really applied that concept.

So that was the biggest takeaway from the meditation retreat that helped me reflect upon the Tibetan definition of happiness through introspection and development of awareness.

It’s about being, not having.

Choosing to lose attachment is a difficult decision that I keep going back and forth on and for which I have to constantly exercice my strength.

I am tempted to wanting to keep the highs high and avoid the lows rather than enjoying the game. Attachment often drags me up and down like a yoyo in a roller coaster.
Putting that thought into practice when meditating, the whole idea is that, for instance, whether I own that studio in LA, keep seeing that guy, do that collaboration with that editorial or not, things will be okay. The idea is to embrace whatever comes my way with its load of surprises and challenges.

Balance Your Energy
Estimated reading time: 1'40

Estimated reading time: 1'40

I've never really been a big yoga enthusiast, but I've been pushing myself to practice it to release stress and anxiety.  

And while I lived in San Francisco, yoga was pretty much a must as most people incorporate it into their lifestyles, out there.

I usually go for Bikram or Power yoga since I am more inclined to practicing exhausting sports and push my body to its limits, but one day, I decided to give lyengar a shot (a type of yoga that focuses on pose and alignment).

As I was stepping out of the class, I chatted with the teacher, French as well, and asked her why she had chosen to teach that sport:

- "A couple years ago, I desperately needed to recenter and listen to my body.

I used to work in an office as a DHR. I was completely stressed out, could barely breathe. One day, I got diagnosed with a slipped disk. I was having terrible backache, and realized that I just hadn't been listening to my body at all.

So I took the diagnosis as a call for help. I decided to leave the corporate world and become a yoga teacher.

I quickly noticed that here in California, people were much more understanding and willing to help, which encouraged me to take this step, while people back in France were negative, doubtful and little inclined to support my new life choices.

I chose to teach lyengar yoga because it focuses heavily on body awareness. It might be perceived as "boring" at first sight, but since there is a lot of focus on the position and you get tons of instructions, it helps you relax, almost to a meditative state, contrary to punchy classes with loud music that distract you ..."

I could not prevent but smile, as I related to what she was saying. She understood in which category I was.

"Hyperactive, or even energetic people like you usually go for dynamic classes that correspond to their lifestyle, and the other way around... But you should find a class that completes you".

It took me a while to admit, but I believe she has a point. Being consistent with yoga and meditation (and massages ;)) actually does help beat the stress out.

 

Are you a punchy person or a calm one? How do you you balance your energy?