Meditation has many definitions, including "concentration on an object." If one is concentrated, one is meditating. The more focused on the object, the stronger the meditation (called dharana in sanskrit). Then it is only you and the object without any other distracting thoughts (called dhyana). And finally, you and the object are one, and you become meditation (samadhi). Yoga is a way of life that helps the mind go into samadhi - when the mind become quiescent and you are unified with the cosmos.
In 2006, I discovered yoga and began to attune my life to this transformative philosophy. The book, Power Versus Force, had a significant impact on my life. I discovered I could actually transform my mind permanently and bring it into a state of love, joy, and peace through focused effort. He called this process "raising in consciousness." At that time, my mind felt that I would feel "higher than" others if I could raise my state of consciousness, and that would give me more self-esteem and confidence. So my spiritual path began out of a prideful motive! This motive was very powerful. So powerful that it led me to read many more books on spirituality.
In 2007, I attended my my first spiritual retreat in Austin, Texas. It was the real turning point of my life. I went to go see a spiritual teacher named Brian who was known to help people "raise in consciousness." Exactly what I wanted to accomplish! In the middle of the retreat, he lead an hour long breath session. We were guided to do very deep breathing which helped us to push out a lot of heaviness in the mind and body. After about 45 minutes of serious breath, a "flame" lit up inside, and my mind went into a natural buoyant meditation. As I opened my eyes, I realized that the world had changed. The colors were more vibrant, and my vision was diffused. The fire of meditation has continued to grow ever since that moment.
This meditative energy has changed my life in many ways. I feel a deep peace in my bones and a profound love in my heart. My patience has increased. I am more available to serve the world. My need for material things has reduced, and my tendency toward addictions has decreased. I feel more content with my life no matter what direction it goes. No one can take away this feeling. It is my true wealth.