He walked into the room – tall, slim, gangly African American teenager – 18 years old. Shoulders forward. Gaze cast down. He shyly crossed the room and sat in a small chair. His long skinny legs stretched out and arms crossed, he looked uncomfortable as he tried to take as little space as possible. His name was Jake.
This was the first class of the semester at Rutgers University, in New Jersey where I was teaching Meditation & Success class on Monday evenings. When I asked everyone why they wanted to learn meditation, Jake said that his whole life he struggled with uncontrollable anger. He was known for his short temper. He said that he went from therapist to therapist his whole life, with not much results; that when someone would say something to him that would rub him the wrong way (and that happened a lot as he often was a target for bullies) he would explode and his psyche would spiral down out of control beyond the point of recovery, often leading to days or even weeks of depression. He said he wanted to try meditation to see if it would help him. I said that all we could do was to give it a try and see. I cautioned that meditation was a practice. Much like dancing or another skill, it would be unreasonable to expect significant improvement after just a few lessons; however, over time and with consistent practice, the results could be remarkable.
Throughout the class that evening, Jake didn’t say a word.With his arms tightly crossed and a sarcastic smirk on his face, he looked like he was going to walk out any minute. But he didn’t.
The next Monday, Jake was the first at the door. Standing tall, with a huge grin on his face. He couldn’t wait to share. I asked him to wait until everyone gets in. As soon as we settled and I asked the students how was their first week of meditating, Jake’s hand flew straight up. He said that after meditating the way I taught them on Tuesday morning, then again in the evening, and again on Wednesday morning, he went to school. As he was walking through the Computer Science hallway, someone hurled an insult in his direction. He said that normally, this would set him off but this time it was different. The words just rolled off his back like they didn’t matter as he kept on walking. Throughout the day, there were several more times that would normally cause him get upset and angry, but this time their comments did not penetrate his psyche. In his words: “It felt like it was a perfect spring day and I was in love so much that the small stuff didn’t bother me… except that I don’t have a girlfriend”.
Over the following months, Jake became one of my best students. He was there every Monday – first in, last out. He was soaking in every word. He was no longer shy and over-sensitive. His posture opened and he greeted people with a huge warm Jake-smile. He became a straight “A” student and a school activist, as well as a big supporter and champion of my Meditation and Success classes. He organized other students and cheered them on as together they were putting up the meditation posters around the campus. Jake’s transformation was so dramatic that when he would tell new students that he used to be a painfully shy introvert with an anger management issue and short fuse, no one believed him.
Jakes’s story of growing up being mercilessly bullied, angry and depressed is not unique. The news about violence in schools, including gun violence, is on front pages almost every week. Since Rutgers, I have taught Diamond Mind meditation, emotional intelligence and mindset for success to hundreds of students and young professionals in high-tech industry and large corporations, and I found that their creativity, focus and productivity increased dramatically within short periods of time; sometimes, as short as one or three months!
I now believe that if we are not teaching our students and employees focused meditation and emotional intelligence, we’re NOT CRAZY…we are INSANE! Jokes aside, we leave their talent mostly untapped.
Focused Meditation practice gave Jake a chance to center and experience authentic well-being that is not dependent on the outside world. It reconnected him with his inner strength. It gave him a sense of security and self-confidence. Do you know someone like Jake in your life that could benefit from being taught how to be more focused, mindful, emotionally secure and happy? Find a new meaning in his or her life? Learn the mindset that leads to both – the inner happiness and outer success?
To learn more about Diamond Mind training and how to bring it into your school or organization, check out our website: DiamondMindYOUTH.com
~ Mila Diamond
Speaker, Author, Coach
Inspiring greatness and creating enlightened leaders!