by Terry Kotyshyn

There is an adage that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I was definitely ready, even though at the time I didn’t realize it. I had just retired and was looking for a beach and a palm tree with my name on it. Circumstances caused me to return to Edmonton and I was not too happy about that. Long story short, I was in a foul mood when I picked up a brochure from the Willpower Institute at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market. I ignored the brochure for quite a while but could not bring myself to throw it out. I came to the orientation at the Willpower Institute but was convinced that I would not be returning. I guess I was more than ready because two years later, meditation is an integral part of my life. The benefits are many and they started to appear rather quickly. The first, and most obvious, was the change in my sleeping pattern. I suffered from insomnia for my entire adult life. Within a month, I noticed I was indeed sleeping better and for longer periods of time. That has continued to improve to where it falls into the “normal” range. Then came a huge increase in focus and clarity of thought. I found that my ability to concentrate and not be distracted by other thoughts or activities had increased greatly. But, the most impressive, though much more subtle, was my reaction to daily events. I found myself not responding negatively to the driver who cut me off or to family members who pushed my buttons. While in the past these would have gotten a rise from me, I now was calm and much more aware of what was going on around me – more in control. Without sounding too Sixties-ish, I am much more at peace with the world and myself. I may not have gone looking for the Willpower Institute but I’m so grateful for having found it. It changed my life. The beach and the palm tree will also be there- when I’m ready.