Find out how the M1 follow-up course was important to Amrei, resident physician in pediatrics (interview in English).
Amrei Simon is a resident physician in pediatrics and has been practicing Acem Meditation since spring 2021. She took part in the M1 course the same year. The course made an impact on her.
- I remember my group particularly well. It was multinational and online, during covid. For the first time, I felt a close connection with other fellow meditators. I also remember the anticipation before the first long meditation started and the surprise that one hour of sitting still could be so short.
The M1 course consists of five sessions, each focusing on a specific topic, such as how your meditation routine can tell you something about yourself or how you understand the concept of the free mental attitude. The goal is not to stimulate intellectual reflection but to delve deeper into your meditation. For Amrei, this non-intellectual and open mode of understanding was intriguing and fruitful.
Well structured, yet no rules
- During the M1 course, discovered that my understanding of the basic concepts of Acem Meditation were somewhat contradictory: On the one hand, the method seemed simple. All I had to do was apply one basic rule: repeat the meditation sound with a free mental attitude. What could be difficult about that?
On the other hand, the obstacles I encountered while meditating made Acem-meditation feel complicated and difficult. No rules, no goals - and I am German… So had I misunderstood something, or was I on the wrong track?
It was very helpful to talk about these issues and understand that all the other group members had experienced similar obstacles, too.
- How did the M1 course influence your everyday meditations?
- I think without the M1 course, I would not have stayed with Acem Meditation. I gained greater insight into the possibilities that the method can offer and became more interested in Acem Meditation in general. Also, due to the M1 course, I eventually signed up for my first retreat in Germany. Getting to know other meditators, feeling a certain connection with them, and experiencing the respectful and open atmosphere at the retreat, made me stay with Acem Meditation.
As the reader might recognize, sometimes a part of us wants to do something, while another part does not. Perhaps we want to meditate and even long for the relaxation that meditation can provide, yet we can find it challenging to sit down and do it. Through her meditative process, Amrei has come to know many facets of resistance.
- I know now that my resistance comes in many different colors, and there surely will be some additional ones I have not spotted so far. I can now recognize some of the feelings linked to resistance earlier, both in and outside of meditation.
A recurring feeling is restlessness, and meditation made me understand parts of its origin. Meditation also helps me to calm down in those moments of restlessness.
At the same time, resistance still makes me feel like I have to endure certain meditations. However, as I know this form of resistance, I also have learned that sitting through it will make everything packed inside this resistance less imperative.
Amrei finds the link between what she does in meditation and outside of it, in everyday life, intriguing.
- Take restlessness, for example. When I sit through it in meditation, it becomes less powerful. That has happened repeatedly, so now I know that when I succeed in sitting through it, no matter what it is about, it will lose some of its power over me . Outside meditation, I sometimes find myself deeply immersed in a certain issue or feeling.
I know now from meditation that if I succeed in just leaving this issue or feeling as it is, it will feel less imperative and perhaps assume a different shape.
Since discovering long meditation as part of the M1 course, Amrei has become fond of this part of Acem’s event portfolio.
- With long meditation, I feel like I am getting to the very bottom of things, if only to see, at the next long meditation, that it was not the bottom of things after all. I pass through different layers of my consciousness.
If everyday meditation is like checking in on myself for 45 minutes or so, long meditation is like going on holiday.
Recommendation from a friend
Amrei discovered Acem Meditation after a close friend had learned the technique and recommended it to her. She admits to being skeptical at first. But her friend continued. Amrei observed that her friend benefitted from meditation and gained more insight into what it is all about.
During Covid, she went through a stressful period in her life. She worked long hours with no balance outside of work. Eventually, she decided to learn Acem Meditation.
- My first experience with the technique involved a mixture of feelings. It was slightly awkward to sit in silence, repeating a meaningless word in my head. But I also felt the excitement connected with doing something new and intriguing, since I did not know what would happen next. After some time, I experienced calmness.
A natural part of everyday life
Since then, this calmness has become a natural part of everyday life.
- Acem Meditation makes me feel calmer and more relaxed. It feels like checking in on myself regularly and getting a glimpse of what is happening inside me. I get less stressed both in work and private contexts. It gives me the feeling that I have a handy and easily performed means to get along with life. It structures my day.
- I find it easier to get up earlier in the morning, since there is nothing else to do then than to meditate. In the evening, I there are competiting events and obligations. I try to have a short meditation straight after work. It is very energizing, and it signals the start of my free time.