Hello forumgoers! Well tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of me beginning LifeFlow, and the new year just entered, so I was in a bit of a reflective mood and felt inspired to recount the past year's experiences and stages, in the form of a success story I suppose, haha. I can sort of remember why I wanted to get into meditation with LifeFlow. I wanted to overcome psychological issues and social anxiety for the most part. Last New Year's Eve, I looked into brainwave entrainment to help me relax and have fun. I found gamma tracks on a strange site which I thought could help me relax, especially after reading about what gamma brainwaves were capable of. I tried it by simply listening to it with my eyes closed lying down. My head began to feel funny, and I felt slightly more relaxed, but nothing huge. I had been let down due to high expectations after my positive experience with the LifeFlow sample track I downloaded a few months earlier. Initially, through LifeFlow 10 and LifeFlow 9, I thought all I had to do was listen, relax, and let the track do the work for me. It wasn't helping. I decided to actually start meditating with the tracks, to get the full effect. I didn't restart though, by this time I was on LF8. I began watching my breath and it was a very peaceful experience. A month or two after, I noticed my meditation sessions weren't very structured due to my meditation technique. My mind was wandering around. I kept pressing on till about LifeFlow 6. When I hit LF6, I intuitively knew I wasn't ready. My time up until about May was spent trying to race down the LF series as fast as possible, because I, like many other beginners, had the misconception that deeper = better. I noticed that I was more aware of my thoughts, and my mind's patterns, and behaviors. I kept on trying to do a different gamma meditation, and repeatedly failed, without being sure why. I was still mostly anxious, I thought about things a lot, and resisted emotions I perceived to be bad. I believed that meditation was supposed to result in that blissful, silent peace, all the time, and that anything else was failure. Not so, every meditation session is a successful one. Progress is always being made. Around summer vacation, I began meditating with a mantra. The same one in the discover meditation course, actually. This added the sort of structure I was lacking in previous sessions, and helped me a ton. I decided to restart the series at this point and progress when it felt right. I felt changes in my thought patterns. I would have days of amazing peace, but even more experiences of suffering and discontent. There wasn't any balance between the good experiences and the bad. I spent 80% of the time thinking too much and resisting, 10% feeling slightly content/distracted, 10% blissful and peaceful. On the upside, I didn't feel as attached to thoughts, and my meditation sessions were pretty relaxing more often than not. However, everyone wonderful experience I had always seemed fleeting, and was almost always followed by some intense pain which lead to suffering through resistance. That summer, I also had some wonderful experiences of clarity, and the openness and bliss I felt came from one thing. Complete acceptance of everything as it is. The power of now. I experienced this on and off, but I was still disillusioned by thinking that if I didn't feel open immediately through acceptance, it was the wrong way to go. I spent my days over meditating and releasing many emotions without realizing it, which was overwhelming and really affected my thoughts. Fast forward to the middle of August, my suffering got worse and made me feel self conscious in ways I hadn't experienced for years. I began to practice a technique for facing fear Ta-Tsu-Wa posted which helped prime me for the coming experience. A [what would once be perceived to be traumatic] experience occurred which increased the pain I felt so much, that I could no longer ignore or resist it any longer. I immersed my self in the feeling and let all the emotions be felt. No more resistance, no more thinking about it, no more questioning Why. The emotion was there, and I was feeling it. Almost miraculously, the emotion disappeared after only a few moments. "That was it?" I thought to myself. A few more instances where an emotion from the situation would come up and I let it be felt. To my amazement, I no longer felt terrible about the situation. It didn't bug me to think about the situation. No matter how hard I tried to let it. I just couldn't believe it. That's when it all started to click for me. That's when I became aware of all the resistance, the suffering, why I felt so bad all the time, why I seemed to be a slave to these emotional outbursts that would happen so frequently. A beautiful experience of deep peace that lasted for four days was how I began the first full week of college. Over the next few months, my progress seemed to move at light speed. Despite that, there were also a few hardships. After that initial experience passed, intense emotions started to come out from that cleansing experience of peace. That was the first upheaval I experienced where I didn't feel panic or worry. I accepted that there were these painful sensations that arose, but I also let them be felt and I knew they were not me. Ever since then, I stopped hiding from the emotions that arose. I let them up to my full attention, but I also notice there was a bit of resistance. Sometimes I wanted to use it as a technique to get rid of emotions, rather than to actually let them be experienced. Once this realization was had though, I was back on track. Despite my initial realization leading to that peaceful experience, the next few months were spent learning to overcome secret bouts of resistance. The mind has resisted what didn't feel good for so long that it would still creep up from time to time. Completely learning acceptance is how i've spent the last few months. It is super easy in that it doesn't have to be 100% correct for it to work. It can work (though not as effectively) if you do not hide from emotions. Though that can help in learning complete acceptance, because as you feel the emotions you've resisted for years, the pain body is permanently reduced. As of late, I've tried to spend time figuring out what exactly "I" am. I wanted to know why being free from emotions leads to peace, and what exactly that state of being was. I recognize that there is peace, but if I am watching it, it is not me, despite it always being there. Mentally I tried to grasp what exactly is me, but only tonight i've stopped trying to grasp it mentally. It feels right. It is an experience, and one that is not defined or conceptualized with thoughts or words. It is always at the base, even if you are feeling confusion about this within you. Feel the confusion. The emotion and the thoughts that accompany are just messengers trying to help you. Listen! In a nutshell, I've realized meditation is not a remedy for psychological issues. It only brings them up to allow you to deal with them. The answers are always simpler than you think, even if you feel confusion about them at the moment. No emotion or sensation or thought or reactive behavior is permanent! Being peaceful is supposed to be easy. LifeFlow has definitely sped this process up, and had many physiological benefits as well as psychological. I wondered the first few months if meditation was really worth it, and after a few realizations, it definitely is! Halfway through the series as of right now, but looking forward to moving on. I'm so thankful for LifeFlow, the PM staff, and all the intelligent, wise members of this forum. It's amazing that despite the words we use, we all speak of the same thing on a deeper level. I've felt more free and clear to do live without worry. And when emotions do come up, I am thankful for the opportunity to let them free. There is no more suffering. There is pain, as there inevitably is in life, but there is always peace when you let the moment be as it is. If you sat through this, bravo. If not, I don't blame ya.