Staying Present in Intensity
by Brian

I grew up in a very permissive agnostic household in California. In high school I accidentally left beer cans in my mom's car after I was driving around one day, and my parents didn’t chastise me for drinking underage. They simply explained that if I got pulled over by a cop, I would get a drunk driving ticket and that would be really bad. 

I’ve always been experimental and fearless when it comes to trying new things. I found OM through a woman I met online back in 2013. She invited me to an OM demonstration, and I showed up, not really knowing what to expect. I have a fondness for unusual things because I think it's a reflection on the society that we live in. When people feel threatened enough to call something “unusual,” I figure there’s something there to look at. So, my first thought was, “I want to OM because it's unusual. I want to see what the hubbub is about.” 

My first OM experience was with an experienced practitioner. Afterwards, I remember walking down the street and it was kind of euphoria. I noticed I was making direct eye contact with the people around me, where I normally would have been looking down at the ground. I could feel so much.

After I’d been OMing for a while, I became less jittery and had more confidence and a kind of lightness of energy about myself. I've always been sort of an introverted person who preferred solitude. I often didn’t know what to say. But that changed after OM. 

My newfound ability to relate with people was appreciated by a woman I had been trying to date. Looking back, she told me, “There was something that shifted. You just kind of kind of stepped up.” We were in a relationship for three years and she was my first real girlfriend.

I think one of the biggest things about OM is learning how to cultivate my attention. The practice has taught me to feel more connected to a person and notice how and where they're at. Right now, it feels like I am attracting everyone in my life. I'm in a place of just being me and not trying at all, which I think is part of the appeal. There's an ease that I now seem to emanate that people pick up on.

For an agnostic I’ve been surprised how much of a meditative practice OM has become for me. It's a real practice. I get up at 6:45 in the morning and have two OMs and go through some other exercises, like extra meditation and writing. And I do that morning after morning after morning before work. 

I've discovered there’s a positive feedback loop that adds up over time. The noticing step of the practice is a way to retrain my brain to notice and adjust to high sensations in the environment. Which means if an argument happens, if I can stay conscious enough to notice what’s happening, the situation becomes neutral and I can get out of the cycle instead of getting emotionally hooked. OM has taught me to actually let in all this sensation and stay present with that sensation and present with the moment.