Meditation. Self-exploration. Mindfulness. A trend that has grown over the last couple of years has focused on the concept of ‘self.’ Whether that is going on a retreat to work on oneself, traveling alone, meditation as a form of exercise or practicing mindfulness – you are still at the heart of it.
Is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. But many meditation techniques exist – so how do you learn? It can be difficult for beginners to sit and think of nothing but in general, the easiest way to begin meditating is by focusing on the breath. There is concentration meditation where you focus on a single point by following your breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, or listening to a repetitive gong. Since focusing the mind is challenging, a beginner might meditate for only a few minutes and then work up to longer durations. There is also mindfulness meditation which encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or judge them, but simply be aware of each mental note as it arises.
Is the practice of purposefully focusing all your attention on the moment, and accepting it without judgement. Done correctly. Mindfulness will allow you to decrease your stress and anxiety, minimize the amount of time that you spend feeling overwhelmed, and help you appreciate each small moment as it happens.
How to practice meditation:
How to practice mindfulness:
This article was originally published in CROWD magazine vol.3, available at Crowd1.