This summer I have spent much of my time embarking on a new journey in life. I have decided that with my mental disorders causing me so much discomfort and sadness that I had to do something to bring myself to a better place. It was after getting to a very low point again that I decided I had to find a natural way to lift my spirits, find hope, and get to recovery.
As mentioned and explained in a previous blog post I have Depersonalization Disorder (DPD) that may or may not be linked to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). When I first went to the mental health clinic regarding the DPD (which I hadn’t even realized that’s what it was at the time) they suggested I take up meditation. So after a couple of days, I did my first guided meditation. It was an amazing experience for me. Over the course of about 10 months, I practiced off and on. When I returned to school for the fall semester of 2015 I took a four-week KORU meditation class. I learned a few different ways to practice mindfulness and practiced more consistently. School ended up stressing me out more and more that after the course was finished I stopped practicing often. Once every couple of week’s I would sit and meditate again, wishing I had the drive and dedication to stay consistent.
At the beginning of this summer of 2016, I found myself in a very deep depression and I turned back to meditation. Not only did I take up meditation from the beginning again, but I also started practicing yoga, aromatherapy, and studying up on healing stones and crystals. I fell in love with everything I learned and am still learning. I never had such a connection to something before in my life.
This is why I describe myself as a modern-day/Neo Hippie. Which is different than what one would have thought forty/fifty years ago.
- 1.(especially in the 1960s) a person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs
So in the 1960’s, 70’s, etc. this was what people considered a hippie. In modern day society, I find the term to have evolved a bit. You can search urban dictionary for different opinions on what the Neo-Hippie is but this is what I feel we are.
A modern-day/neo hippie is an advocate/activist with liberal political views who isn’t afraid to take a stand. Someone who is spiritual and/or very in tune with the universe and the environment. Someone who focuses life on peace, love, happiness and mindfulness so they live a calmer more peaceful life. Someone who has a preference of bohemian or “hippie” fashion and style. Someone who is a lover, not a hater. Perhaps a vegetarian. Perhaps a stoner. Etc. I think you can get the idea by now.
Now that I’ve given you a bit of my background information and opinion let’s get into what this post is really about.
My attitude, beliefs, and way of life are somethings that are very important to me. They mean something. Lately, I’ve witnessed people I know, as well as strangers who throw around these words that I live by or with. I’ve heard people label themselves as hippies for the wrong reasons. I’ve heard people use the word zen for the wrong reasons. I’ve heard people belittle my lifestyle and make it out to be so much less than it truly is.
Zen. This word gets thrown around so much and in the wrong way. I don’t think people understand what zen is. Zen is not something you are because you like to hike. Zen is not something you do because you smoke weed. Zen is not something you do because your friends do. Zen is not a way to describe yourself for being vegan. (Etc.)
The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (dʑjen) (pinyin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna (ध्यान ), which can be approximately translated as “absorption” or “meditative state“.
Zen (Chinese: 禪; pinyin: Chán) is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty as Chan Buddhism. It was strongly influenced by Taoism, and developed as a distinguished school of Chinese Buddhism. From China, Chan Buddhism spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan, where it became known as Japanese Zen. Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others.
In a way, Zen is more or less closely linked to meditation. It bothers me so much when people throw that word around. They’re phonies. You are not “a modern day hippie because you’re so zen when you hike”. Especially if that’s the ONLY time you feel that word and phrase applies to you.
I practice meditation. I practice yoga. I have a very long way to go on this journey still but that’s what it is…It’s something you work for and you have to be committed to. This is my life style. It’s something that I’m studying, I’m practicing, I’m living my life by. It feels like a slap in the face when people don’t understand the words they’re using.
I don’t want this little rant of mine to be confused with putting down those who ARE trying. I have a specific type of audience in mind while typing this, it’s not a put down to anyone who is serious about it. It’s a put down to those are are ignorant and just hopping on mainstream bandwagons.
I highly encourage anyone and everyone however to attempt this life style. You may find it’s a connection you’ve been searching for. I’ve never felt more connected to my life, my soul, this earth, as I am when I meditate and practice yoga and with my crystals. The key is patience and perseverance and like most things you have to work for it. It will be the most satisfying and rewarding work you do.
Suffering from Depersonalization I do sometimes wonder how different my experience would be if I felt connected to my own body. Some day I’m sure I’ll figure that out. For now I take each day as it comes and the progress I’ve made in becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be is motivation in itself to never stop.
Until next time, peace, love, and light to my readers.