Meditation: Let’s Get Started
Mediation first started getting its turn in the spotlight a few years ago in 2012 with this Times article.
Now, meditation is almost synonomous with calm, peace, de-stress and possibly even productivity.
The practice of turning inwards and working out the mind with a few minutes of silence is proving to have profound affects on the mind, body, and emotions. But what does it mean to be mindful and to meditate? And the question I get asked the most…
Is it going to require hours a day sitting in a crossed legged position sitting under a banyan tree… not at all.
To meditate is to have focused attention.
There are many paths to obtaining and exercising focused attention ranging from chanting, moving, gazing, visualization, breathing and more.
The technique I practice, teach and recommend is based on the Vipassana tradition of insight meditation using breath focused meditation. Keep in mind that is only one of many methods.
Getting started with Meditation
The first thing to know is meditation does not mean to have no thoughts. This way of thinking can lead to a lot of frustration and sense of failure (as it did for me when I first started).
To meditate is to be aware of “non focus” and bring back to “focus”
This is probably the most important and often overlooked part of meditation. Asking one to sit and focus on the breath and nothing else is asking for failure.
Our over stimulated brains are constantly jumping from one thought to another from the past to future, this activity often goes unnoticed because we’re busy engaging in the task at hand however this activity is brought to the forefront when we are no longer distracted and deliberately trying to focus.
Course correct along the way
The point is to notice when the mind has wondered and bring it back to the point of focus in this case the breath. As the mindful muscle gets stronger, the length of time it takes to notice the mind has wondered decreases from minutes to seconds. And the mind gets stronger.
It’s about quality not quantity
Is it going to require hours a day sitting in crossed legged position sitting under a banyan tree… fortunately no!
As with most things in life it’s about quality not quantity. Having a consistent daily practice for 5 minutes is far better than having an hour long practice once every couple weeks. Consistency is key. Just like you’d brush your teeth every morning you’d brush your brain as well.
Get started with this 1 Minute meditation
Ready to build a meditation practice? Start here with 5 Minute Mind