Pam Brewer / Brooklyn Meditation, NY, USA
(Interviewed by Lauren Guss)
How was your life before you started this meditation?
My life was generally very good. I lived in Brooklyn and considered myself blessed with wonderful family and friends. Where I felt lacking was in my career: I feared I wasn’t living up to my potential and was never quite satisfied, so I kept bouncing around looking for that “perfect” situation. I changed jobs frequently but was never 100% content. I eventually realized that no matter where I went, the same patterns, interpersonal conflicts, and insecurities always showed up.
How did you hear about this meditation?
I learned about this meditation through Meetup.com. I had been interested in meditation for quite a while and when I saw this Meetup, I decided to check it out.
What made you curious enough to start?
I had done other forms of meditation and self-reflection long enough to know that my suffering, fundamentally, came from my own mind: the stored memories from my past. When I heard that this meditation was a way to really release and overcome those stories forever, it was music to my ears!
So beautiful, so what was one of the first changes you noticed in yourself?
One of the most profound changes early on was that I started taking things less personally. Especially at work, I had always worried what others thought of me. After a few weeks of practicing this meditation, I had more confidence and stability within myself and wasn’t so preoccupied with other people’s judgments of me. In turn, I could also see the good in those around me, and began to work much more collaboratively.
Was there any time where you struggled in this practice and you thought you just couldn’t continue? What made you continue and why? Were you happy you did?
From day 1, I felt the benefits and those benefits really compounded week by week. Even if I faced some difficulty, I knew there was only one way through it – forward! – and obviously I am tremendously happy that I have continued this far.
What was your most memorable experience with this meditation? The guides, other meditators, anything in general?
From my first visit to the center I was touched by how warm and genuine the meditation guides were. In time, I was able to confront and express things from deep within that I was never able to face before. I think that was the most memorable thing from early on – just feeling extremely comfortable being myself.
Through this meditation, you can get rid of habits. What are some habits that you have gotten rid of?
Prior to this meditation, I used to drink quite a bit. Working in the food and beverage industry, it was very normal to drink, even on the job! Alcohol became my way to unwind from the day and quickly quiet down the endless flow of thoughts. Thankfully, through this meditation, my mind has become a comfortable place to be all the time, so the need to drink excessively has naturally subsided.
Do you feel your life is different from before you started until now?
Yes! Definitely! When I think back to how I felt before I started, it’s like night and day. The joy that I feel, even in just the quiet moments, is such a gift. I find that I’m no longer critical of others, so I can connect with people much more easily. I also have a lot more physical and mental energy now also, so my productivity has really improved.
What advice would you give to someone who is having a hard time making a commitment to start this meditation?
I would say do what I did, and just try it for a month! Put forth the intention to make the most of that month and see what happens. There’s truly nothing to lose.
What advice would you give to someone who has just started this meditation?
Just put one foot in front of the other and celebrate the small wins. Notice subtle changes in your state of mind, and know that those subtle changes will become profound shifts later on. Try to stay consistent and positive and you will progress quickly!
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Just do it! Go for it! Haha. Thank you, Lauren, for this opportunity to reflect on my experience. It has truly been the journey of a lifetime, and I only hope that others get to find what they are seeking as well.