Monday, January 16, 2017

What You May Not Understand About Meditation

Meditation has been touted recently as the solution for everything from ADHD to PTSD. It’s being introduced in schools, workplaces, and hospitals. A meditation instructor of mine calls this growing popularity “McMindfulness.” The research does seem compelling as scientists the world over try to understand the neuroscience and physiology behind the success of mindfulness meditation. So far results have shown meditation can help us reduce stress and emotional reactivity. It also seems that meditation may lead to enduring changes for those who practice it. There’s a reason people have been doing it for thousands of years, but there is also a lot of misunderstanding that gets in the way for those hoping to benefit from this ancient practice. Here are some things to consider if you’re interested in what meditation has to offer.
Meditation is not something to be mastered
“I just couldn’t nail it,” I heard an acquaintance say recently. “I couldn’t get the breathing right.” The fact is, it’s called meditation “practice” for a reason and no one “nails” it. I have suffered with anxiety all my life. When I first started meditating years ago, I found focusing on my breath, as I was instructed, just made me feel more anxious. Instead I developed my meditation with an open awareness, eyes open, focusing on nothing in particular. Meditation eventually helped me with my anxiety making it possible for me to focus on my breath but there was no perfect way to do it.
The only wrong way to do meditation is by not doing it at all. One of the most important ideas of the practice is that you don’t judge yourself, your thoughts, or your meditation. Not judging oneself is a tall order, but meditation is where you can practice, and you begin by not judging the way you do it. The basic idea is to take some time to try to be present in the moment. If you sat down and you tried to do this, consider yourself successful. (MORE)
Source: Huffington Post

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