In an article it was proposed that meditation can actually hurt you. This was written alongside the notion that mindfulness is becoming big business (like the Pharma companies??) yet swathed in a blanket of political naivete. It all came as a response to the The International Symposium for Contemplative Studies (ISCS) where several thought leaders (The Dalai Lama, Arianna Huffington, Jon Kabat-Zinn) joined together to advance our understanding of the practice, citing science as backup.
Okay, the topic of mindfulness in politics is beyond me– I can’t touch that.
But I do recognize that meditation isn’t for everyone. It can be frustrating. Uncomfortable. Even boring. But it doesn’t hurt.
I’ve rejected sitting for years — focusing my fleeting efforts instead on moving meditation (yoga, running, anything where I could keep my body in motion, and concentrate on the breath). The idea of being in stillness was not something I could wrap my head around; I literally ran away from it any way I could.
But now, I sit to meditate. And though each session is totally different–it almost always leaves me better off than when I started.
In a group sitting last week, my meditation teacher talked about how the mind will wander, and becoming aware of this– bringing it back to the breath –is part of the practice. Sometimes, for me, that IS the practice…I’ll spend the entire session calling my mind back.
You’ll never know what your session will look like unless you give it a try. And try again. And keep trying. That’s the practice.
Here’s some help to get going (or keep at it.):
Oprah + Deepaks 21 Day Meditation–Manifesting Your Best Life
It starts today! Oprah + Deepak break it down with simple + accessible language that will appeal to most.
This app was recommended by my meditation teacher, and I’ve gotten really into it. There are a bunch of guided sessions to choose from ranging in length from 5 to 30 minutes, led by top teachers like Sharon Salzberg and Tara Brach. There’s also a whole social aspect which I haven’t yet figured out along with a timer to sit on your own.
Dharma Punx Against The Stream
I listen to this Buddhist podcast at night before going to sleep. It’s mostly dharma talks on everything from patience to cravings, and of course, meditation. I like it because there’s a very real, down-to-earth vibe. I also like that they use curse words.
Why (or why not) does a meditation practice appeal to you?