Today is National Meditation Day. And it's the last day of the month - the last day for me to write a blog post. Ironically, I'd already decided to write about meditation before I discovered it was National Meditation Day.
Simply put, meditation is to focus your thoughts or engage in contemplation. Sometimes people meditate for spiritual purposes and sometimes people meditate to simply relax. Meditation has been shown to decrease stress hormones in the body and to increase people's sense of well-being. Meditation has moved out of the realm of woo-woo-guru stuff and into the mainstream of our culture.
Here are the most common objections I hear when the subject of meditation comes up during coaching:
1) I don't have time.
2) I can't sit still that long.
3) I don't know how to do it.
4) I don't like incense.
5) Chanting is weird.
6) That's not my religion.
Here's how I respond (in reverse order to the above):
6) It's not a religion.
5) No chanting necessary.
4) No incense needed.
3) You can learn (by the way it's easier than you think).
2) You can lie down if you want.
1) It doesn't take that long.
How to Meditate:
1) Get comfortable wherever you are right now and take a deep breath in through your nose so that the breath pushes your belly out as it enters your body; then slowly exhale.
2) With your next deep inhalation think the word, "In"; and as you exhale think the word, "Out". If other thoughts enter your mind, notice them and come back to "In" and "Out", matching that to your breath.
3) Repeat this exercise three more times.
Congrats! You just meditated. It doesn't have to be any more involved than that. If you are exploring meditation for
yourself and feel intimidated by your colleague who meditated this morning for two hours, remember they started meditating back in the day by simply breathing deep breaths and noticing when their minds drifted. And everyone's mind drifts. That's why it's called meditation practice not meditation perfection
I am going to do a series this month on meditation so you
may hear from me more often in the next few weeks. If you have a specific question about meditation, don't hesitate to send it. Chances are someone else has the same question.
Don't worry, I won't blow up your inbox.