Meditation is a great life skill, one that is part of a balanced life. For example, I feel that meditation ought be taught to children in school, along with math, PE and social studies!
Mindfulness meditation has been, and is, an important part of my life. It is one of the elements in my life that keeps me healthy, sane and adds balance to my life. It is as important to me as cleaning my teeth, eating well or going out for a run. I can live without it, yes, but …………….
when I feel stressed and imbalanced, when life is overwhelming, hectic or confusing; meditation, is a way to effectively find balance again. Breathing mindfully, even just a few deep breaths. Sitting in mindful peace, even for only a few minutes, can make a difference, and I can feel the balance, peace and life-connection again.
Often I meet people who say “oh, I so wish I could get into a meditation practice but …….. I don’t know how, and every time I try my mind keeps racing – so I must be doing it wrong and I am also too busy, but I so wish that I could”.
I think that we all long for quiet space – we crave it. Meditation is such a great way to get it!
But we tend to have this illusion that meditation has to be done just right, sitting down on a mountain, cross-legged, for hours and years, with a perfectly blank and quiet mind. So many give up before even trying. And even if we give it a try, then we experience just how busy the mind is, thoughts bombard us with, what do I cook for dinner, oh, he won’t like that, I need to remember to buy washing powder, I should have asked…, I have to remember to call……etc. When this happens, we think we are doing it wrong, and give up, not realizing that is actually quite natural and part of it. The mind is a wanderer and we will think of a billion things while we meditate, thoughts come and go, feelings come and go, sensations come and go.
As Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, a researcher, a scientist and a teacher of mindfulness meditation says, ” if you have a mind it is going to wander“. We are not doing it wrong, we are just human with a wandering mind. Simply observing that there are different thoughts coming, without following the thoughts, just noticing and going back to the breath. Don’t strive, let whatever happens, happen – just notice and be mindful with what happens, without analyzing or judging it, then return to the breath.
Dr. Kabat Zinn has been an amazing inspiration for me on my meditation path! What I like about mindful meditation is that it is simple – there is no right or wrong – it is “just” being – it is straight forward and down to earth. Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn makes meditation simple and obtainable – he removes the mystic part and makes it easy, durable and fun. Something for everyone!
Meditation can be done anywhere and anytime, sitting cross-legged on the floor or on a chair, on the bus or in the airport, walking, standing in a line up or laying down.
This YouTube is a workshop he did at Google – it is full of great and inspiring information. I hope you will enjoy it.
12 years ago, when I first started meditating I bought Jon Kabat-Zinn’s CDs and I have used them ever since. They are so helpful when you start out and still to this day, I use them – fortunately, before I wore the CDs out, I added them to my iPhone and listen to them when I need it.
You can read more about the CDs here
You may also want to read these two other blog posts I wrote on meditation :