The easy way to start a short meditation practice
Meditation and mindfulness practices have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent times. There’s no denying that there’s a wealth of proven mental and physical health benefits to be derived from regular practice, including;
- A calmer, clearer mind and improved concentration
- Better communication and creativity
- Relaxation and rejuvenation of mind and body
- Lower blood pressure and less stress
- Better sleep and greater energy levels
- Better moods, emotional stability and general happiness
- Improved immune system
Sadly, meditation is an often misunderstood concept that can seem remote and inaccessible to all but the most dedicated Buddhist monks. Who’s got the time to just sit there for long periods of time, doing nothing? And how can you possibly clear your mind and ‘think of nothing’? However, the truth is that meditation is something that everyone can do – anywhere and anytime – and it’s very easy to get started.
There are a lot of misconceptions about how to practise meditation correctly, so here are a few ideas to inspire and encourage you to give it a go.
Zen Buddhists refer to the constant mind chatter as ‘monkey mind’ – a constant state of motion that stops us slowing down and enjoying the present, making us restless, stressed and anxious. Regardless of whether you are sympathetic to Buddhist beliefs, it’s a useful image to work with how you can ‘train your monkey mind’, as explained in this little 2 minute video:
Outside of the Buddhist tradition, there are many other approaches to meditation. Here is a simple video explaining how to meditate in a moment, using 1 minute as framework.
Mindfulness has become something of a buzzword in recent years. An interpretation of meditation techniques for stress reduction and pain management originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, its central tenet revolves around non-judgmentally staying in the present moment.
By way of example, here’s a guided 2 minute mindfulness meditation that uses sound as the focus.