Posted by Meditation USA on August 6, 2020
The Wandering Is Over and I’m So Happy
Sunghwan Kim / Student
I had no real plan for what I wanted to major in when I attended college. I just applied to a university that I knew would accept me with my grade point average. When I was younger, I had my dreams. But as I grew older and faced reality, it seemed like I couldn’t do anything. I cut classes regularly and when I went on vacation, I partied and drank a lot.
Meanwhile, I received my enlistment notice from the military. People around me said that when you join the military, you can become a good man. “Yes,” I thought, “joining the military will solve all of my problems.” But two years into my military career almost killed me. It was so bad that any time I heard somebody talking, I assumed they were talking about me. Paranoia. That feeling made me depressed.
A couple days after I got out of the army, I attended a meditation retreat for college kids. As I meditated, I looked at all the things that were in my mind. My grandfather was a college professor and both of my parents had graduated from prestigious universities. Naturally, they had high expectations for me. At one point, I was studying harder than anyone else, but my grades didn’t improve. I had a lot of frustration building up in my mind.
I lost confidence. I didn’t know what to do. I had a lot of memories of being confused by this kind of thinking while I was studying. I thought the army would rid my mind of my fear of the future. My pride and selfishness had been shaken up during my time serving my country. I’d lived doing whatever I wanted to do my entire life so it was very difficult for me to be controlled like that – even just a little bit. I decided to let it all go while I meditated: my set standards, my anger and all of my worries about my future were let go. I started to understand that it was all fake and as I enlightened, they all miraculously disappeared.
I also found that living my life for others who are struggling like I was is what I really want to do and it’s what makes me the happiest. Now my escape from reality and wandering is over. I have faith in myself and confidence in my future. I am very glad that I am now doing my best at every moment without worrying about the future.
When I Saw My Dad Again, I Was Surprisingly Comfortable
Jihwan Kim / Student
In my mind, I was always really angry. I didn’t like my father because he was always comparing me to my older brother and my mother always seemed to be interfering in my life. As a result, I always fought with my teachers. When I was in high school, because I had so much stress about my studies, my jaw kept clicking and became quite painful. It was a difficult time and I just wanted to rest.
At the recommendation of my mother and older brother, I attended a meditation retreat for college students. As soon as I began meditating, memories of my dad came up. I didn’t like being around him since I was young. He was stubborn and had strong pride. But as I went outside of my own personal perspective while meditating, I could see my real dad. I felt very grateful to my father who had struggled for us his whole life. I was ashamed and sorry for the way I had treated him and I shed tears all night.
The thoughts of a father that I hated were the only thoughts in my mind. I couldn’t go home with this mind, so I abandoned it until the ideas and thoughts that I had about my dad disappeared. By the end of the meditation retreat, I had thrown away all of my minds: The minds of wanting to be loved and recognized by my parents (which had caused me to rebel) and the inferiority I had felt toward my older brother. When I saw my father again, it was surprisingly comfortable.
All the moments with my father had been scary and painful, but now they weren’t at all. When my mom wasn’t home, I would wake up at dawn and bring breakfast to him. In the past, I thought that everything was other people’s fault. Now I know that it’s all my fault. I feel real freedom and happiness. It would be great if everyone knew that this happiness was possible. I would like to thank my parents and my older brother, who is always with me.