Here is the unabridged full interview. A partial interview was included in issue 9 of Mantra Yoga Health magazine.
Laying in a hospital bed with 15 prescriptions each day ruling his life,
Sam Shelley finally said, “Enough!” His life had been a long series of illnesses, each one more crippling than the last. At age 6, a hit and run accident with a van nearly killed him. Since then, the hospitalizations for depression and the anxiety began, eventually morphing into bi-polar disorder, suicidal tendencies and finally multiple sclerosis. During one particularly tough hospital stay, Sam experienced a profound shift — an awakening — that forever changed his life. Eighteen months after that shift, Sam slowly awakened and is today symptom-free (and drug-free).
Here’s how he did it:
Mantra Yoga + Health: Sam, your story is amazing. How did you first realize that meditation would help?
Sam Shelley: I didn’t know it would, but I began to read and was curious how meditation and mindfulness might work for me. I started to get very quiet and over time, I began to see that the thoughts I was having weren’t “me” — they were separate entities. I continued to meditate and separate myself from the thoughts — just note them as they floated by — and one day, I had an awareness. A clarity that spoke the words “perfect spirit” to me, and I then realized that my spirit — who I was — was pure. It was my thoughts that were not — and they were separate from me. I could choose to believe that “perfect spirit” was truth and the thoughts began to have less and less power.
Slowly, the ill health that had been plaguing me for so long began to dissipate. I worked with my doctors to reduce the drugs I was on, based on the reduction in symptoms, and following my perfect spirit, became stronger each day. I now see this as a true awakening and I feel strongly that I’m not that special — this ability is available to each of us, if we choose to see our thoughts as separate and re-write the things we tell ourselves each day.