Meditation has played a powerful role in two pivotal events in my life. The first time was after being laid off from a dot-com company for which I had worked (and identified myself with) for four years. In that crucial moment I was introduced to "Full Catastrophe Living," which powerfully opened my analytic mind to the possibilities of mind-body connections and the mysteries-- and answers-- that they offer. The book and my resultant meditation practice (supported by guided meditation cd's by Belleruth Naparstek) gradually healed me from many of the powerful anxiety symptoms that I was experiencing physically as a result of my mental anguish.
I continued the practice in a nominal way for a few years after that, but still had vestiges of the anxiety symptoms from my initial layoff. Seeking to be completely healed, I found an opportunity to attend a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat and took it. The results were transformative. During the retreat I felt as if I caught a glimpse of the true power and limitless potential of the spirit-- a glimpse sufficient to propel me into deeper practice. Also, during that same retreat, the idea for a life-transforming environmental road trip project dropped into my consciousness. It resonated so profoundly with me that I decided to embrace it fully-- resulting in YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip-- a trip to all 50 United States to explore and personalize environmental sustainability through fun, engaging short films and other forms of new media. During the adventure we made a point to stop and interview Krista Tippett, not to mention a wide variety of spiritual, business, government, and activist leaders and average citizens of all stripes. You can find the resultant video work documented online at YERT.com, and the project is ongoing as we are giving presentations about the project at colleges nationwide.
I never expected meditation to play such a profound role in my life. My background is in industrial engineering with amateur threads in the performing arts. As I trace my own willingness to accept the idea of a mind-body connection back to a humble origin, however, it could quite possibly be through early voice lessons that I experienced when I was 17 years old. During those voice lessons I was first introduced to the concept that you can-- indeed, that you must-- affect the production of vocal sound through indirect, subconscious control of the vocal chords. You just have to let go into it to create the conditions for proper vocalization. As a result of this training, when I was presented with the idea that I can affect my anxiety symptoms by indirect means through my subconscious mind, that latent vocal training supported that idea and helped me embrace it-- changing my life in profound ways.
Thank you for creating the opportunity for me to share this story!
Sincerely Yours,Mark Dixon
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