learning to meditate
2001. I took my first Art of Living course right after the September 11 attacks in NY, where I was living, because I went to a "chant for peace" at the yoga studio near my house, and there was a guy there who seemed totally rooted and present and not freaked out like everyone else in the city seemed to be. That was my first meditation teacher, and when I did Sudarshan Kriya (which is the style of breathing yoga Art of Living teaches), I dropped into a place that was softer and more peaceful than any place I had ever been before. I went deep into the program in subsequent years. I did many courses, teacher training, was involved in the community, and totally uprooted epic amounts of old pain and depression that were in me. I hadn't really realized that I had been depressed until it started to lift. Anyway, totally miraculous amazing thing.
I'm not really involved with the organization very much anymore, but I now find it very very easy to go into meditation, and it hugely shaped how my consciousness presents.