By Peter Czeck, interviewed by Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast
“My Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation practice is a work in progress,” says Peter Czeck. He and his wife began with Meditation 101 in June 2019. Since then they’ve been regular students in weekly Svaroopa® yoga and meditation classes at Downingtown Yoga & Meditation Center (DYMC). In his mid-seventies and retired from teaching high school English, Peter explains meditation is part of his strategy for “conscious elderhood.”
“Before taking DYMC classes,” Peter describes, “I’d read about meditation. I experimented with audio-recorded guided relaxations and focus on the breath with background music. But it was hard to get past my brain. My experience did not meet my expectations of peace and serenity.”
A workshop on embracing conscious elderhood had piqued Peter’s interest in meditation. He says, “It was transformative. I realized I don’t want to waste the 20 years of life that I have left. I don’t want to take each day just letting things happen. That approach to elderhood is just putting in time. In youth we do more, in aging we become more. Two pillars of conscious elderhood vividly stand out for me. I must let go of the past, and I must live with purpose. Without a purpose, you’re just putting in time.
“I knew that meditation would be a tool in this strategy. When I found Svaroopa® yoga and meditation, the practices fit what I knew I needed. I don’t yet have an established daily practice. Still, I’m working on it. I know that it will evolve as does any new habit. The Ujjayi Pranayama breathing practice and the mantra clear my head. They support me on my journey to inner awareness, and I do find the serenity and peace within that I’m seeking. I know I’m on the right path.
“I’m looking for ‘the More’ in a broad sense. For me this means connecting the heart, the body and the mind. I never thought about that in youth. With my purpose of continuing to grow – working on what I can become – meditation gives me a chance of attaining ‘the More.’ It’s interesting, provocative and engaging. When I meditate, I honor my capital-S Self. “I have no idea where this practice will take me, but it can’t be a bad place. I am experiencing peace, serenity and awareness. This experience, my DYMC meditation teachers say, is my Own Self — the One Self Being All. A great destination!”