meditation tips and answers

51 Meditation Tips And Answers To Common Questions

Meditation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are different techniques, and it’s about finding the one that fits you best. In this article I’ll provide you with clear, simple advice to help you start and maintain a fulfilling meditation practice.

This article is broken down into seven main sections with all the meditation tips, tricks, techniques, and answers I have gathered over time.

If you need more help getting started, sign up for my newsletter and get a free beginner’s guide to meditation.

1. How to Meditate

What is mediation?

Meditation means different things to different people, but at its core, it’s a mind and body practice that has long historical roots in ancient religious and spiritual traditions. 

It’s a way of connecting with your inner self. It involves focusing your mind, often quietly, and letting your thoughts flow without judgment or distraction. 

Think of it as a mental workout, a gym for your mind. It’s about achieving a state of calm, balance, and inner peace. Simply put, meditation is a journey toward self-awareness and mindfulness.

How to get started with meditation

Getting started with meditation may seem complex, but I promise you it’s not. With a bit of guidance and patience, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the serenity it can offer. Here are some simple steps to help you kick-start your journey:

Choose Your Space: Look for a quiet and comfortable place in your home where you won’t be easily distracted or disturbed. It doesn’t have to be large – a small, peaceful corner with a comfy cushion can do wonders. Make sure your meditation space feels good to you.

Decide on Time: Consistency is key. Try to meditate at the same time every day. Many people find morning meditation a great way to start their day, but the right time is really any time that works best for you.

Sit Comfortably: Find a posture that feels natural to you. You can sit cross-legged, in a chair, or even lie down. The key is to be comfortable but maintain a posture where you can stay alert and focused.

Start Small: Begin with just 5 minutes a day. As you get more comfortable with meditation, you can gradually increase your practice time. Remember, it’s not about how long you meditate but how consistent you are.

Focus on Your Breath: Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Focus on the sensation of your breath flowing in and out of your body. If your mind starts to wander, don’t worry. Gently guide your attention back to your breath.

Mindfulness: Try to be mindful of the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that pass through your mind. Don’t try to control or resist them. Just observe them without judgment.

Guided Meditation: As a beginner, guided meditation apps or videos can be very helpful. They will guide you through the meditation process and help you stay focused.

Patience and Practice: Finally, remember that meditation is a skill, and like any skill, it takes time and practice to develop. Be patient with yourself. If you get distracted or feel like you’re not “doing it right,” don’t worry. This is all part of the journey.

Getting started with meditation is really as simple as taking the time to sit quietly, breathe, and focus your attention. It doesn’t require any special equipment or elaborate setup. All you need is a bit of time and a quiet place to focus your mind.

As you continue your meditation journey, you might face challenges or have questions. Remember, this is perfectly normal. Over time, you’ll learn what works best for you. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to meditate, only what feels right for you.

So sit down, close your eyes, focus on your breath, and let the journey of self-discovery begin. You’ll be amazed at the power of meditation and how it can transform your life. Trust me, the benefits of meditation go far beyond these initial steps.

Where to meditate?

Where to meditate is a question that’s often asked. The beauty of meditation is that you can do it practically anywhere.

However, if you’re just starting, it’s best to find a quiet, comfortable spot in your home where you won’t be disturbed. This could be a dedicated room or a peaceful corner – somewhere you feel calm and relaxed.

It’s also beneficial to create a calming atmosphere. Maybe add a cushion for comfort or a plant for a touch of nature. Some people like to light a candle or incense. Over time, this spot will become your personal sanctuary, a space associated with tranquility and mindfulness.

Ultimately, the ‘where’ is less important than the ‘doing’. The key is to get started.

When is the best time to meditate?

The best time to meditate truly depends on your personal routine and lifestyle. However, I’ve found that mornings can be a prime time. As soon as I wake up, I dedicate a few minutes to meditation. It helps me set a positive tone for the day and prepares my mind for the tasks ahead.

Another great time is right before bed. It helps me release the stress of the day and ensures a peaceful sleep. But it’s not just about the morning or night – if you find a quiet moment in your busy day, that could be your perfect time.

Remember, consistency is key in meditation. Find a time that suits you, where you can regularly sit undisturbed. With time, you’ll discover when your mind is most receptive. Just go with what feels right for you.

How long should I meditate?

How long should you meditate? This is a common question for beginners, and the answer is simpler than you might think.

The length of your meditation depends largely on your personal comfort and time availability. If you’re just starting, it’s recommended to begin with small increments, maybe 5 to 10 minutes per session. You can gradually increase this time as you get more comfortable with the practice.

It’s important to remember that the goal isn’t to meditate for a long time, but rather to make meditation a consistent part of your daily routine. It’s better to meditate for a short time every day than to do a long session occasionally.

With time and practice, you might find that you enjoy longer sessions. Many seasoned meditators practice for 20 minutes to an hour each day. But, there’s no right or wrong length of time to meditate. It all depends on what works best for you.

And here’s a secret: Even brief moments of mindfulness can make a difference. A few mindful breaths during a busy day can help bring clarity and calm.

In the end, remember that meditation is a personal journey. The length of your practice isn’t as important as the quality of the time you dedicate to it. So, start small, be consistent, and most importantly, enjoy the process.

How often should you meditate

I’d say daily meditation practice is a great aim. Starting off, even 5 minutes can make a big difference. Over time, try working up to 15 or 30 minutes. Consistency is what truly matters, not the length.

What is the best posture for meditation?

When I first embarked on my meditation journey, I often wondered what the best postures were for my sessions. I’ve discovered that comfort is paramount, but there are a few postures that are generally more conducive to meditation.

The first one is the traditional full lotus posture, where I cross my legs and rest each foot on the opposing thigh. It’s a stable position and can help me remain alert, but honestly, it’s not always the easiest for beginners or those with limited flexibility.

Another posture I often prefer is the half lotus. It’s a modification of the full lotus where I place one foot on the opposite thigh while the other foot rests under the knee of the opposite leg. It still maintains balance and comfort without being too strenuous.

On those days when my body feels particularly tight or tired, I turn to the Burmese position. In this posture, both of my feet lay flat on the ground, in front of my pelvis. It’s a gentle position, and I find it very accessible.

meditation tips and answers - meditation postures

But meditation is not restricted to sitting. Walking meditation is another practice I enjoy. The slow, mindful steps offer a change of pace and keep my body active while my mind relaxes.

Finally, there’s the savasana or corpse posture, where I lay flat on my back, often at the end of a yoga session. It’s an ideal position for deep relaxation and body-scanning meditation.

Each of these postures has its benefits, and I rotate between them based on what my body and mind need at the time. Remember, the best posture for you is the one that allows you to meditate comfortably and without distraction.

Should I keep my eyes opened or closed when I meditate?

Should they be open or closed? The answer isn’t as cut-and-dry as you might expect.

Personally, I’ve experimented with both methods and found benefits in each. When I close my eyes, it’s easier to block out external distractions. My focus shifts inward, making it simpler to observe my breath or monitor my thoughts.

On the other hand, when I meditate with my eyes open, I notice an increased awareness of my surroundings. This, I’ve found, encourages a sense of connection with the world around me.

At the end of the day, it’s about finding what works for you. Remember, meditation is your personal journey. There’s no right or wrong, only what helps you achieve calmness and clarity. So, try both ways and see which one suits you better.

Which technique should I use?

there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Just like how different workouts suit different body types, meditation is personal too. Maybe mindfulness works for you, perhaps it’s transcendental or loving-kindness. It’s about finding your rhythm, the one that makes you feel centered, at peace.

Do we stick to one or explore many? It’s like visiting your favorite cafe. You have a go-to order, but sometimes you’re curious about the new specials. I say, start with one, learn it, experience it, and then, feel free to explore.

You might stumble upon a technique that resonates with you more. Or you might realize your first pick was the best all along. It’s a journey of self-discovery, after all.

Is there a meditation that’s better than others?

I’ve spent a good amount of time exploring the world of meditation and I can tell you there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not sidestepping your question. It’s just that the best type of meditation depends on you – your personality, your preferences, and what you hope to achieve.

If your mind is constantly racing with thoughts, you might find a guided meditation beneficial. Here, a calming voice will help you focus and quiet the chatter. Some of my friends swear by it, and they’ve seen impressive results.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who likes silence and solitude, mindfulness meditation might work best for you. It’s all about being present and aware of your surroundings, without judgment.

Transcendental meditation, where you repeat a mantra, can be your go-to if you find comfort in repetition. It helps create a sense of stability and consistency in your life.

So, to answer your question, there isn’t a meditation technique that stands head and shoulders above the rest. The beauty of meditation lies in its flexibility. It’s about finding what resonates with you and sticking to it. Give different techniques a try, be patient with yourself, and trust in the process. That’s the key to a rewarding meditation journey.

What are the best tips to start a meditation session?

Every time I start my meditation, I ensure a few key things. Firstly, I find a quiet place where I’m least likely to be disturbed. It could be a corner in my room, a park, or even my backyard. Wherever it is, it must be a place where I can feel at peace.

Next, I make sure I’m comfortable. I might sit on a cushion, lay down, or even stand, depending on my mood. There’s no right or wrong position; it’s all about what works best for me.

Then, I take a moment to set an intention for my meditation. It could be as simple as wanting to feel calmer, or something deeper, like fostering self-love.

Finally, I begin with a few deep breaths, inhaling slowly through my nose and exhaling out my mouth. This helps me to transition into a state of mindfulness and sets the tone for the rest of my meditation session.

That’s how I kick-start my meditation, and I hope these tips help you start off your session on the right foot too.

What are the best tips for a meditation beginner?

Starting out with meditation can feel a bit challenging. I know because I’ve been there too. But don’t worry, I have some easy tips to help you. 

First, find a quiet, peaceful spot. It could be a corner of your room, a garden, or even a park. Next, start small. 

Five to ten minutes a day is great to start with. It’s also important to focus on your breath. 

Try to take slow, deep breaths and keep your mind on it. And remember, it’s okay if your mind wanders. Just gently bring it back. 

Keep practicing and soon, you’ll find meditation becomes a refreshing part of your day.

If you want to really improve your practice, then look for a good teacher to help you with the process.

What is the best breathing method for meditation?

There are a lot of breathing exercises and which you chose depends on the intention of the meditation.

I’ve always believed that the key to an effective meditation practice lies in the breath. There’s a particular method I find especially beneficial, it’s called diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing.

  • Firstly, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. 
  • Place one hand on your chest, the other on your belly. 
  • Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. 
  • Try to direct this breath down into your belly, so that the hand on your belly rises more than the one on your chest. 
  • Hold your breath for a moment, then exhale gently through your mouth, allowing your belly to fall.
Meditation tips and answers - Breathing animation

This method promotes a full oxygen exchange, which is beneficial for both your body and mind. It helps reduce tension and stress, key inhibitors to a successful meditation session.

So next time you meditate, remember, belly breathing is your best friend. Trust me, you’ll feel the difference.

There’s a whole range of breathing exercises you can read here.

Will Meditation really help my health, intelligence, and creativity?

My personal journey with meditation revealed its profound impacts. The mindful breaths I took during meditation felt like stress leaving my body, contributing to better sleep and fewer headaches. This isn’t just my perception, as research supports meditation’s effectiveness in combating stress-related issues such as insomnia and anxiety.

As for intelligence, meditation is like a mental gym. It doesn’t grant instant genius, but it does improve focus, memory, and learning abilities. The mental clarity cultivated during meditation transfers to daily life, enhancing task performance.

Regarding creativity, I believe we all have a hidden well of creative energy, often concealed by stress and self-doubt. Meditation helped me uncover this reservoir, leading to more innovative thinking. Studies support this, linking meditation to increased brain flexibility and stimulated creativity.

Research also shows that mindfulness meditation lowers cortisol and raises mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.

Remember, meditation doesn’t need special skills – it’s available to everyone. It requires just a few dedicated minutes each day. There are ample resources, from online classes to apps, to support your journey.

So, does meditation boost health, intellect, and creativity? Based on my experience and scientific evidence, the answer is a resounding yes. 

2. Meditation Distractions and Obstacles

How do I stop falling asleep during meditation?

Recognize the Factors Leading to Sleepiness

First off, let’s try to understand why you might be dozing off during your meditation sessions. The primary culprit might be a lack of rest. You see, I’ve noticed that when I’m not getting enough sleep, my body tends to seize any quiet moment as an opportunity to catch up on some much-needed rest.

Another factor that might be contributing to your unintended naps is the time you choose to meditate. If it’s late in the evening or immediately after meals, the body naturally tends towards rest. Now that we have an understanding of the possible causes, let’s dig into some solutions.

Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule

It might sound a bit off-topic, but one of the best tips I can offer is to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. If your body is well-rested, it’s less likely to drop into sleep mode the moment you sit down to meditate. Make sure you have a consistent sleep schedule, and try to get a healthy amount of sleep each night, typically 7 to 9 hours for adults.

Choose the Right Time to Meditate

Timing is everything, folks. If you’ve been trying to meditate late at night or after meals, consider switching things up. Early mornings or mid-afternoons tend to be ideal for most people. Remember, the goal is to find a time when you feel alert and refreshed.

Alter Your Meditation Posture

Posture can also play a significant role. If you’ve been meditating while lying down or in a super-comfy armchair, you might want to reconsider. Opt for a seated position, preferably with a straight spine, which naturally encourages alertness.

Incorporate Movement

If the previous tips haven’t resolved the issue, try meditations that involve some degree of movement. Walking meditation is a fantastic alternative that keeps you both grounded and engaged. Alternatively, you could also try yoga, which combines mindfulness with physical postures.

Keep Your Eyes Slightly Open

Lastly, consider meditating with your eyes slightly open. It can feel a bit strange at first, but trust me, it’s a surefire way to stay alert during your sessions.

The journey of meditation is unique to each one of us, and it’s okay to stumble along the way. If falling asleep has become a hiccup in your meditation practice, I hope these tips help you stay awake and fully reap the benefits of mindfulness.

What to do when the body itches during meditation? Or when my mind keeps playing songs?

Conquer that Itch

First things first: If you’re like me and your body starts to itch during meditation, don’t panic. This is quite normal. It’s usually a sign that your body is becoming more aware of sensations as your mind calms down. Here’s my go-to method to handle it:

  1. Acknowledge the itch: Yes, there’s an itch and it’s bothering you. Recognize it and accept it’s there.
  2. Don’t react immediately: Instead of scratching right away, try to wait for a bit. Let the itch peak, and then naturally decline.
  3. Return to focus: After the itch subsides, bring your attention back to your breath or whatever your meditation focus is.

Silencing the Mental Jukebox

Now, what if your mind starts playing songs on a loop? It can feel like you’re trapped in a never-ending concert. Here’s how I deal with it:

  1. Don’t resist the music: Instead of trying to push the song out of your mind, let it play. It’s just a thought, after all.
  2. Become an observer: Listen to the song as if you’re hearing it from a distance. Don’t engage or sing along in your mind.
  3. Gently refocus: When the song eventually fades, bring your focus back to your breath.

Remember, meditation is not about achieving a state of absolute stillness but rather learning to navigate our thoughts and sensations. Be patient with yourself and keep practicing.

How do you sit with emotions without being pulled away in thoughts and analysis about them?

It’s completely natural that emotions arise during meditation. The key isn’t to push them away but to let them come and go, like clouds passing through the sky.

Step 1: Acknowledge Your Emotions

In my own practice, the first thing I do is acknowledge these emotions. Yes, there is sadness. Yes, there is anger. It’s like greeting an old friend. You might not always enjoy their company, but they’re part of your life nonetheless.

Step 2: Feel the Emotions

Next, I feel these emotions in their purest form. I don’t judge or analyze them. I just feel them. If there’s a tightening in my chest or heaviness in my stomach, I allow myself to feel these sensations without attributing any meaning to them.

Step 3: Letting Go

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I let these emotions go. Like leaves on a river, they float by and I don’t attempt to hold on to them. This isn’t easy, and sometimes I find myself getting caught up in the stories behind these emotions. But when this happens, I gently bring my attention back to my breath and let the emotions drift away.

Meditation is not about emptying our minds but about becoming comfortable with whatever arises in them. By learning to sit with our emotions, we develop resilience and understanding that extends far beyond our meditation practice. With time and patience, you’ll find that you’re not only better at dealing with these emotions but also more in tune with yourself.

Should I correct my posture while meditating?

You bet! Correct posture is essential when it comes to meditation. 

A straight spine aids in proper breathing and helps maintain focus.

 If you’re slouched or uncomfortable, your attention will drift toward discomfort instead of tranquility. 

Now, don’t mistake this for rigidity. Being upright doesn’t mean being tense. Imagine a cord gently pulling your head up toward the ceiling. You should feel relaxed yet attentive. 

A good posture also represents a respectful attitude toward the practice.

The one rule really is that you shouldn’t react to every urge or discomfort you have. Observe the feeling, see if it goes away, if it persists, then shift your posture.

Remember, meditation is not just about the mind, but also about harmonizing the body. So yes, pay attention to your posture, it’s worth it.

If my nose is running during meditation do you wipe it or let it run?

Ah, the age-old question in meditation, what to do if your nose starts running?

I’ve been there, trust me, and it can seem like a bit of a pickle. But here’s what I’ve learned. Meditation is all about comfort and focus, and if a running nose is disturbing that, feel free to wipe it. 

There’s no hard and fast rule that you have to stay perfectly still. Use a soft handkerchief, make it quick, and then return to your peaceful state. After all, meditation is your personal journey, and a tiny sniffle shouldn’t stand in the way. Remember, it’s all about what helps you find your inner calm and maintain it.

How often should your mind wander during meditation, what is considered “normal”?

Meditation is a personal journey, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You might find your mind wandering more frequently when you’re starting out. That’s perfectly okay. In fact, it’s a part of the process.

The goal isn’t to completely shut out thoughts or empty your mind, but to become aware of them without judgment. It’s like sitting by a river and watching leaves float by. 

Sometimes, a stray thought might pull you in. Instead of being harsh on yourself, gently bring your attention back to your breath or the object of your focus.

It’s quite natural for the mind to wander, it’s how our brains are wired. The frequency might lessen as you practice more, but don’t be disheartened if your mind still wanders. It’s not about perfection but progress. Meditation is about cultivating mindfulness, not creating a void.

I have been practicing for nearly 7 years at the time of writing and I still have days when my mind is full of thoughts, but, they are a lot fewer than when I first started.

Remember, there’s no “normal”. You’re unique, your experience is unique. It’s all part of your mindfulness journey.

How do you focus on the breath during meditation without trying to control it?

Mindfulness is key in focusing on the breath during meditation. I want you to notice the flow of your breath, don’t force it. 

Feel the air coming in, filling your lungs, and then gently leaving your body. It’s like watching waves on a beach, you’re not controlling them, you’re simply observing. 

If your breath changes, that’s fine, bring your attention back gently to observing your breath. Remember, you’re not here to get it perfect, you’re here to be present. Let go of control, and let your breath be natural.

Are there any tips for breathing difficulties during meditation if I have asthma?

Breathing during meditation can sometimes feel like a challenge, especially if you’re dealing with asthma. I’ve got some tips that might help make your practice easier and more comfortable.

Before we go further, I should point out that I’m not a doctor. It’s essential to talk to a healthcare professional about any concerns related to asthma and meditation. Now, let’s explore some ideas.

Firstly, creating a calm environment can do wonders. Limit potential triggers, like allergens or cold air, that might set off your asthma. You can meditate indoors where you have control over these factors.

Another tip is to meditate in a comfortable posture that doesn’t restrict your breathing. This could be sitting on a chair, rather than the traditional cross-legged position. Make sure your chest and shoulders are open and relaxed.

Now, about the breath. During meditation, you’re often advised to breathe deeply, but with asthma, this might be challenging. So, breathe at your own pace. The aim is to be mindful, not perfect.

Finally, if you feel any discomfort or the onset of an asthma attack, stop meditating immediately. Always prioritize your health and safety.

Remember, meditation should enhance your well-being, not compromise it. I hope these tips offer some help.

How do I know if the quality of my meditation is good?

This is the most asked of all questions, am I meditating properly?

It really depends on the intention of your practice, if you are intending to feel more peaceful then one of the best indicators is an increased sense of peace and tranquility. If you’re feeling more relaxed and focused after your sessions, that’s a big thumbs up.

Also, observing how quickly you’re able to slip into a meditative state, is another great indicator. Initially, it might take a while, but as you keep practicing, you’ll find it becomes easier to tune out distractions and tune in to your inner self.

Probably the best indicator is the spillover effect on your daily life. If you’re noticing more calmness in dealing with everyday situations and stressors, it’s a sure sign your meditation is working.

Remember, the essence of meditation lies in the journey, not just the destination. If you’re investing time and effort, and enjoying the process, you’re doing it right. Your ‘quality check’ is truly a heart check. Are you feeling better? Then, you’re doing well.

My motivation to meditate phases in and out, what should I do?

It happens. Sometimes my drive to meditate ebbs and flows like the ocean tides. I think it’s a normal part of any routine or habit. We’re humans, not machines, after all.

Building an Association

Firstly, I found it helpful to associate meditation with an activity I consistently do. Maybe it’s right after I wake up, or perhaps just before bed. When that routine activity happens, it serves as a trigger for my brain, a reminder to sit down and meditate.

Set Reasonable Expectations

One thing that’s easy to forget is that the aim of meditation is not to achieve a blissful state or to become an enlightened being overnight. So, I learned to set realistic expectations. Sometimes, meditation might feel like a chore, and that’s okay. The important thing is to stick with it.

Spice it up

I noticed that boredom could be another reason for waning motivation. To spice things up, I experimented with different forms of meditation like mindfulness, loving-kindness, or mantra-based meditations. Each one provides a unique experience, which helps keep the practice fresh and exciting.

Get Support

When I felt my motivation slipping, I found it helpful to join a meditation group or seek a meditation partner. It creates a sense of accountability and companionship that can carry me through those periods of waning interest.

Be Gentle with Yourself

Above all, I learned to be gentle with myself. Just like life, meditation is a journey with ups and downs. Sometimes my motivation may dip, and that’s perfectly normal. Rather than beat myself up about it, I chose to accept it as part of the process and continue forward.

Remember, it’s not about perfecting meditation, but about continuously engaging with it, one breath at a time. If you are feeling a dip in motivation, remember you’re not alone. Just return to the practice when you’re ready, and know that every session, no matter how brief, is a step in the right direction.

What to do if I can’t meditate?

Feeling restless during meditation is common, and I’ve been there. It’s essential to understand that it’s perfectly okay not to have a perfect meditation session every time.

Most people who say they can’t meditate either have the wrong expectation of meditation (usually clearing their minds) or have been given poor guidance on how to meditate.

Some tips to get started is to start small. Instead of a 20-minute session, try meditating for just five minutes. Concentrate on your breath. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath. This simple technique helped me tremendously.

3. Integrating Into Daily Life

meditation tips and answers - how to integrate meditation into daily life

What are some tips to integrate mindfulness into daily life?

Mindfulness can be practiced throughout the day in various situations, it helps us to stay focused, reduce stress and anxiety, and better appreciate our present experiences. Here are some moments in everyday life where you can stop and be more mindful:

  1. Waking Up: As you wake up each day, take a moment to acknowledge your presence and the new day ahead. Feel your body waking up and notice the sounds and light around you.
  2. Brushing Your Teeth: Instead of letting your mind wander, concentrate on the physical sensation of brushing, the taste of the toothpaste, and the sounds you are making.
  3. Taking a Shower: Pay attention to the sensation of the water hitting your skin, the sound it makes, the smell of the soap or shampoo, and the feeling of getting clean.
  4. Before you read a message on your phone: Pause before opening a message. Notice your breath, relax any tension, and prepare to engage mindfully with the incoming information.
  5. Eating a Meal: Be aware of the taste, texture, and smell of the food. Consider the effort that went into making the food. Slow down your eating and savor each bite.
  6. Walking: Whether it’s a short walk around your house or office or a long walk outside, focus on the physical sensation of moving, the feeling of the ground under your feet, the sound of your steps, and the wind and sun on your skin.
  7. During Commute: Whether you’re driving, biking, or on public transportation, use the time to practice mindfulness. Notice the sights, sounds, and sensations around you.
  8. While Waiting: Instead of pulling out your phone during free moments, take a deep breath and look around you. Notice details you may otherwise ignore.
  9. During Work: Take a few moments throughout your workday to be mindful. Notice the sensation of your fingers on the keyboard, the sound of typing, and the content you are creating or consuming.
  10. Listening to Music: Pay close attention to the melody, the instruments, and the lyrics. Feel the emotions the song invokes in you.
  11. Doing Chores: As you wash dishes, vacuum, or tidy up, pay attention to the details of the task and how you’re physically interacting with your environment.
  12. Before Sleep: As you wind down for the night, take a moment to be mindful of the quiet, the comfort of your bed, and the sensation of your body relaxing.
  13. Breathing: At any moment during the day, focus on your breath going in and out. This can be a quick and easy way to bring mindfulness to your day.

Remember, mindfulness is not about eliminating thoughts, but about being aware of them and accepting them without judgment. You can bring mindfulness to any moment, no matter how mundane it may seem.

Should I meditate then work out, or work out then meditate?

I’ve always found it best to meditate before working out. Meditation helps me focus, clearing my mind of clutter and setting the tone for the day.

I’ve also been reading a lot about mindful training, focussing intently on contractions makes a huge difference to your workout.

Some folks find post-workout meditation helps them cool down, releasing tension and grounding them after physical exertion.

It all depends I guess on your energy levels, if you are frustrated or angry, a workout is a great way of dispelling that energy before you sit on the cushion.

Try both and see which order works best for you. Remember, there’s no wrong answer – it’s all about your personal comfort and productivity.

How can I integrate meditation into my working day?

You might think that including meditation in a busy workday can seem tricky. But, trust me, it’s simpler than it appears. 

Start small. A five-minute mindfulness break during lunchtime can work wonders. No fancy yoga mat or silent room is needed, just find a quiet corner and focus on your breath.

Now, if you’re thinking, “I’m too busy, I can’t just drop everything and meditate,” here’s a trick. Try some ‘walking meditation’ while moving between meetings. Focus on the rhythm of your steps, each inhale and exhale, as you move.

Remember, it’s not about finding extra time, but about utilizing your existing time differently. 

Try giving it a shot, and see how it transforms your workday. You’d be surprised how small moments of calm can reset your day’s pace.

What should you do if your partner doesn’t meditate?

I know it can be challenging when your partner doesn’t share your love for meditation. But, remember, everyone’s journey is unique. 

It’s important to respect their choices, even if they don’t mirror your own. 

Instead of trying to convince them, let your peaceful demeanor be the evidence of meditation’s benefits.

If they express interest, guide them gently, providing tips and answering queries. But if they remain uninterested, that’s fine too. The tranquility you find within your practice will still radiate outwards, benefiting both of you.

meditation tips and answers - a couple meditating

Should I share the insights I discover during meditation?

I’ll admit, I asked myself the same question when I started meditating. After spending hours in silence, insights started bubbling up, and I wondered if I should share them with others (well, my wife).

Here’s what I learned: sharing your discoveries can create meaningful discussions and deepen your understanding. But remember, meditation is a personal journey. 

Some insights are sacred and best kept to yourself. It’s a delicate balance. Trust your intuition and discernment when deciding to share.

Ultimately, it’s your journey. You have the freedom to decide what feels right to you. Meditation, after all, is about discovering and honoring your own truth.

What type of meditation is best for overcoming anxiety?

There are lots of techniques to help with easy anxiety, but this really depends on how deep your anxieties are.

Generally, for someone dealing with occasional stress and anxiety, mindfulness meditation works wonders.

Where your anxieties are deeper, but don’t stop your daily activities, then focus meditations such as yoga, walking meditation, and mantras to help tether you in the present moment without feeling overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions.

If your anxiety is affecting your day-to-day life, then I would seek professional therapeutic help. Meditation can heighten how sensitive you are to thoughts and emotions and can surface previous traumas. So if it starts feeling bad, then stop and get help.

4. Different Practices

Is meditating and guided visualization the same thing?

In a word, no. But they are both generally called meditations. Confused? Let me try to explain it.

Meditation is when you yourself try to keep the focus on an anchor, you train your mind to notice when it’s wandered, and you develop the habit of coming back to the present.

A guided visualization, on the other hand, is doing part of the work for you. There are great benefits to starting with a guided visualization, if you have never meditated before they are like training wheels on a bike to get you started. But like training wheels, there comes a point when you need to take them off and learn to ride on your own.

What you don’t have in guided meditation, is the habit-building exercise of returning to the present on your own. When you learn to do this, it flows into the rest of your day.

Is it ok to combine meditation with an affirmation exercise?

This is a really hot topic in the meditation forums, some feel strongly that they are kept separate, and some say it should be an integral part of your meditation.

To really make a choice it’s good to know what each is, and what they do.

Meditation seeks mindfulness through passive observation of thoughts, while affirmations work to change thought patterns to positive ones by repeating and believing in positive phrases.

The difference is that in meditation you try to observe the thought, but in affirmation, you are creating the thoughts.

Can activities like painting, cycling, and running (etc.) be a form of meditation?

Many people wonder whether activities like painting or cycling can be forms of meditation. Let me share my perspective on this.

At its core, meditation is our inherent state. It’s as natural as breathing. But, our routine thought processes often create a web of confusion and distractions that obscure this tranquil state. 

Let me put this in another way, we’re all born meditating, and then life happens to us.

To experience our meditative nature, we employ specific techniques that help us pierce through these distractions. This requires some effort on our part.

Being fully present is a vital part of meditation, but it’s just a piece of the puzzle. Take skydiving, for instance. While you’re free-falling, your mind is completely in the moment. But this intense focus on the present doesn’t equate to meditation. It’s simply being fully present. Meditation not only grounds you in the present but also takes you deeper into your consciousness.

Consider activities such as cycling. When you’re utterly engrossed in pedaling, feeling the breeze, and observing your surroundings, you’re practicing what some call Mindful Attention. It’s a kind of ‘flow state’. But while this aligns with aspects of meditation, it’s not the full picture.

Meditation happens when your focus becomes inward, settling on one point to the exclusion of everything else around you, and staying in that state for a while. This is also a ‘flow state’, but it’s a more profound one.

We can say that being fully present is a significant benefit of meditation in your day-to-day life. Also, maintaining a practice of being in the present moment throughout your day can enhance your meditative state. They both work synergistically.

As your practice deepens over time, the lines separating ‘meditation’ and ‘other activities’ start to blur. For some, this boundary may eventually dissolve completely, leading to a state where every activity becomes a meditation in its own right.

Does Yoga and Tai Chi count as meditation?

This is a build on the last question, it has all the aspects of meditation such as mindfulness and focus, so my answer would be yes, Yoga and Tai Chi can indeed be forms of meditation.

They involve mindfulness and concentration, key elements of meditation. As you engage in these activities, you are fully present, harmonizing mind and body, with a focus on breathwork akin to meditation.

However, meditation also involves turning your focus inward, far beyond being simply engrossed in an activity.

So, while they may not be traditional meditation, Yoga and Tai Chi when practiced with an inward focus, are meaningful mindfulness practices that help you reconnect with your inherent tranquility. In essence, it’s about finding what helps you tap into your natural meditative state.

meditation tips and answers - a couple practicing tai chi

5. More Advanced Meditation Topics

I feel like I have reached a plateau in my meditation practice, I feel stuck and can’t move forward. What should I do?

Ah, I’ve been there. You’ve been meditating regularly, then suddenly it feels like you’re stuck in a rut. It’s like you’ve hit a plateau and can’t see any progress. Don’t worry, it happens, and there are ways to move past it.

First off, it’s important to remember that meditation isn’t about achieving anything. It’s not a competition, even with yourself. The moment you set a goal, it becomes something you need to accomplish, and that’s not what meditation is about. It’s about being present in the moment, being aware of yourself and your surroundings.

You can try small things like changing up your routine a bit. If you’re always meditating in the same place, at the same time, consider trying something different. A new location or time of day might offer a fresh perspective.

Find inspiration from thought leaders, I find that books and podcasts are great ways to keep me motivated and explore new ways to meditate.

Finding a community is also helpful, it’s better in person, such as a meditation center, but online communities can be good too.

And lastly, have patience with yourself. Progress in meditation isn’t always linear, and sometimes we need periods of stagnation to fully appreciate the moments of growth when they come. It’s all part of the journey, my friend. So keep going, you’re doing just fine.

Meditation has helped me take control over my strong urges and impulses, now how do I stop them completely?

Disclaimer: This article is based on my personal experiences and observations. It is not intended to replace professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your psychological or physical health.

The web of urges and impulses is seemingly overwhelming at times. But guess what? It’s completely normal. We all experience strong urges, cravings, and impulses. However, the magic begins when we learn how to take control, just as meditation taught me.

Meditation gave me a profound sense of tranquility and control. I learned how to observe these impulses without getting swept away. It’s like standing on the shore and watching the waves crash – they can be fierce, but they can’t pull you in if you don’t step into the water.

But then, you might ask, “How can I stop these urges completely?” Let me share what I’ve learned.

Completely eradicating urges or impulses is a tall order. After all, these are inherently human traits, part of our fundamental wiring. Instead of eliminating them, we should aim to manage and understand them better. It’s about learning to surf the wave, not stopping the ocean.

So, my first tip? Continue your meditation practice. Be consistent and patient. It’s a gradual process, not an overnight miracle. When an urge arises during meditation, observe it, acknowledge it, and let it pass without judgment.

Another key is understanding the triggers behind your impulses. Is it stress? Boredom? Loneliness? By identifying the triggers, you can prepare and have coping mechanisms in place. This is where mindful living comes into play – a lifestyle that complements your meditation practice.

Then comes the practice of self-compassion. Be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to slip up, we all do. The important thing is to learn from it and move forward.

Lastly, seek support if you need it. Connect with like-minded individuals, join a meditation group, or get professional help. You’re not alone in this journey.

Remember, it’s not about eradicating the urges but learning to ride them out with grace. With consistency, mindfulness, self-compassion, and support, you’ll find your way. And one day, you’ll be teaching someone else how to navigate their urges.

What do I do when I have strong emotions during my meditation, or in day-to-day life?

Experiencing intense emotions during meditation isn’t uncommon; it’s part of the process. When I meditate, I bring to mind the things that trigger strong emotions, such as fear or sadness. Instead of fighting these feelings, I sit with them. I breathe deeply, observing what happens within me—how my heart rate changes, the tension in my muscles, the thoughts that race in my mind.

While feeling these emotions, it’s crucial to remember that you’re an observer. Imagine watching a movie—you’re seeing and feeling the emotions, but you aren’t reacting. You’re in a calm, aware space, observing these feelings without judgment. This process allows me to experience emotions without them overwhelming me.

Now, in daily life, when those emotions resurface, I recall that space of awareness. I remind myself that I can experience emotions without them controlling me.

If you’re new to meditation or dealing with significant trauma, it’s advisable to stabilize your practice first. Including yoga or Pranayama can be helpful steps towards this. It’s all about growing in awareness and understanding of yourself.

How can I deepen my meditation practice?

If you’re already a regular meditator and want to dive deeper, I’ve got some tried and true methods to help you get there:

  • Expand Your Session Time: Consider gradually increasing your meditation duration. If you’re comfortable with 20 minutes, why not stretch it to 30, 40 minutes, or even an hour? I’ve found that this can really deepen the practice.
  • Sharpen Your Intent: Look to ramp up the intensity of your sessions by focusing more deliberately and setting a clear intention each time. This enhances mindfulness and presence.
  • Carry it Forward: Ever thought of carrying meditation into your everyday activities? Creating mini-mindfulness moments throughout the day can do wonders. Trust me on this!
  • Meditation Retreats: If you can, consider attending a meditation retreat. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the practice.
  • Educate Yourself: Reading about meditation and engaging with teachers and fellow practitioners can provide invaluable insights. You never know what gems you might stumble upon!
  • Experiment with Techniques: There are countless meditation techniques out there. Feel free to explore them and find ones that resonate with you.

And here’s a nugget I’d love to share – the moments after you end your meditation can be as impactful as the session itself. So, after you open your eyes, don’t just rush into your next activity. Allow yourself to transition smoothly, soaking up the calm and carrying it forward into your day. It’s a simple tweak, but it truly enriches your practice.

I hope you find these tips useful. Remember, the path to deepening your meditation is unique to each person. Explore, experiment, and most importantly, enjoy the journey!

How do I know when I have reached a deeper level of meditation?

Exploring deeper realms of meditation is a unique and enriching experience. The signs can be different for everyone, but here are some key indicators that you’re making progress.

First, there’s a heightened focus and one-pointedness of attention. Your thoughts will no longer feel scattered. Instead, they will converge to a single point, helping you stay present.

Then there’s the distinct lack of distractions. The usual external noises or internal chatter that used to bother you won’t anymore. They simply lose their power over you.

You may also notice an absence of discursive thinking. You’ll find it easier to stop the endless cycle of thoughts that usually takes over the mind.

An interesting sign is the unification of body and mind. It’s as if they’re no longer separate entities but a harmonious whole. This leads to a deep sense of quietude, a calm that seems to radiate from within you.

You could also experience feelings of joy, bliss, or deep pleasure in your body and mind. It’s a kind of happiness that’s pure, untainted by external circumstances.

Time might start to feel irrelevant during your sessions. One hour could feel like a few minutes, as you lose yourself in the bliss of meditation.

Your body might become immovable, steadfast like a mountain. At the same time, you could also reach a point where you forget about your body entirely, along with everything else, immersing completely in the meditative state.

Lastly, you may have a profound sense of connection. This isn’t just about feeling connected to yourself but also to everything around you. It’s a beautiful, all-encompassing understanding that you’re part of something larger.

When I ask myself the question “Who am I?” during my Self-Enquiry meditations, I feel like there is an endless loop, is there an end to this?

Meditation can feel like a complex puzzle when we pose the question: “Who am I?” or “Who is observing?” It might even seem as though we’re spinning in circles, going deeper and deeper without end. This sensation, while initially daunting, offers an opportunity for profound self-discovery.

Within each of us resides a single, vital force – our consciousness. It’s the watchful observer, examining everything else. Think about when you’re concentrating on your breath during meditation. Here, your breath is what’s being observed, and the observer is your consciousness.

Now, if we start questioning who is doing this observing, we shift our focus onto the act of observation itself. The act of observing the breath then becomes what is observed, and our consciousness continues to be the observer. This may feel like we’re reaching new depths, but it’s essentially a replay of the previous stage. It can be like a cat chasing the elusive beam from a laser pointer, always just out of reach.

So how do we break free from this cycle? It comes down to directing our attention, the spotlight of our consciousness, back onto its source – our pure consciousness. This can be achieved without making it an object of observation.

Here’s my personal approach to this journey:

Begin by focusing on something external, like your breath.

Turn your attention towards the process of observing.

Ultimately, steer your focus back to where the observation originates – your own consciousness.

At this point, I allow my consciousness to just be. It exists as “I am,” without any additional layers. This simple ‘being’ is the heart of Self-Enquiry, a technique rooted in Advaita Vedanta and taught by Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Once your attention settles comfortably in your own consciousness, let it remain there. Don’t force it to move or change; just let it be. Over time, you’ll begin to sense an expansive reality that exists beyond our daily “I am.” This grand unveiling, often referred to as Awakening, is the profound realization that emerges from this practice.

So, whenever you find yourself in meditation pondering “Who am I?” don’t get discouraged by the seemingly infinite loop. It’s part of the journey. Remember, every time you pose the question, you’re taking another step towards your own awakening and understanding of your intrinsic, interconnected nature. It’s a voyage of discovery, and the destination is worth every step.

6. Resources

Do you have any suggestions on the best resources for meditation?

I’ve written a couple of summaries on what I believe is the best of each of the categories, you can find them here.

7. Miscellaneous

What should I do when I have a great idea or insight during my meditations, I don’t want to interrupt my practice?

Here’s a situation that often happens: you’re sitting quietly, totally absorbed in your meditation, when suddenly a great idea pops into your head. It could be the solution to a problem that’s been nagging you, or perhaps a creative insight that fills you with excitement.

At first, you might feel torn. You don’t want to disrupt the serene moment of meditation, yet you fear you might forget the idea once the session is over. So, what should you do?

Here’s a simple strategy I’ve learned over years of practice. Whenever an idea surfaces, I take a moment to acknowledge it without judgment. I see it as a leaf floating by on a stream. I don’t try to hold onto it, but I also don’t force it away.

If the idea is truly valuable, trust me, it will come back to you after the meditation. Your subconscious mind is like a safety net that catches these insights.

After the meditation session, give yourself a few minutes to sit quietly and allow the idea to resurface. Keep a journal nearby to jot it down if it returns.

Remember, meditation is all about being present. It’s okay to have thoughts and ideas during your practice, but the trick is not to get entangled in them. In the end, this approach will make your practice even richer and your insights even deeper. 

How has meditation changed you?

Ouf. Big question. You’ll get a different answer from everyone I guess, but I like to use the analogy of a messy shed.

When I was young, my parents asked me to tidy the shed. It had about 5-7 years of a growing heap of random items, different items. 

What made it more complicated was that there was work being done on the garden, so I couldn’t just take everything out and start again.

So bit by bit I moved things, stacked them, identified them, brushed them off a bit, and things started to make more sense and become a little more organized.

By the end of the weekend, things were completely different, everything was categorized, and more things made sense where they were. 

And if I wanted to I could carry on, maybe build more shelves, power wash the floor, the list was endless.

So the way I describe meditation and how it’s changed my mind was a messy shed.

Things have gathered there over time, maybe I recognized one or two things, and the first time that I stopped to take a look at this shed, none of it made sense. I didn’t know how I was doing to deal with it.

And like my parents shed, I couldn’t take everything out and just start again.

So I guess, meditation has changed me by better understanding what’s in my ‘shed’.

I know why some things trigger me, and not others, I now realize how often I’ve been reacting and not observing, I see that most of the things that hold me back are in my mind, and not because of my environment.

Meditation for me has meant freedom. Freedom from all the barriers and blockers that I have held onto in my mind.

How do you know if you are meditating instead of just sitting there?

One key distinction is your level of awareness. When you’re simply sitting, your mind might wander freely. 

But during meditation, you’re actively guiding your attention, typically to your breath, a mantra, or even just the present moment. 

You’ll notice distractions, but then gently bring your focus back. 

It’s not about emptying your mind entirely, but rather acknowledging thoughts and letting them pass without judgment. It’s a subtle shift, but it makes a world of difference.

What does it feel like to meditate regularly?

Tranquility in the Body

When I meditate regularly, my body feels calm, rested, and at ease. There’s an immediate sense of relaxation that washes over me – a kind of tranquility that’s hard to put into words. My heart rate and breathing slow down, lending an atmosphere of serenity. As time goes by, this state of tranquility becomes accessible at will, anytime, anywhere. It’s almost as if my body has learned the art of relaxation.

Nourishment of the Mind

Meditation provides a much-needed break to the mind, a retreat from the constant stream of thoughts. Initially, it might feel like my mind is more active during meditation, but that’s because I’m paying more attention to my internal landscape than I usually do. As I continue to meditate regularly, this period of quiet reflection turns into a space of refuge and nourishment. The brain starts transitioning from beta to alpha waves, signifying a state of relaxed alertness. This shift enhances my clarity of thought, memory, and concentration.

Building an Inner Sanctuary

While the body relaxes and the mind gets its respite, a regular meditation practice builds an inner sanctuary of peace and stability. This quiet inner space becomes a part of me, accessible at all times, helping me cope with life’s ups and downs. My resilience grows, and I become like a sturdy tree, rooted firmly and ready to withstand any storm.

Spiritual Awakening

While I wouldn’t say I am religious, meditation has helped me become more spiritual and is a remarkable tool for spiritual growth. Regular meditation has given me a sense of unity, a feeling of interconnectedness with everything around me. It’s almost as if I’m on a spiritual journey, with meditation being my constant companion and guide.

Living a Fuller Life

In essence, meditating regularly has enriched my life in multiple ways. The relaxation in my body, the clarity in my mind, the resilience in my spirit, and the deepened spiritual connection – all of these contribute to a more fulfilled life. Whether it’s health, performance, wealth, or spirituality, regular meditation has been an invaluable tool for achieving my goals.

Meditation is a journey, and each experience is unique. But one thing is clear, the rewards of this practice seep into every aspect of life, helping us live more consciously and fully. I hope my experience inspires you to continue or begin your own meditation journey.

Is there still a stigma around saying that you meditate?

I’ve been meditating for quite a few years now, and I’ve first-hand seen a change in my mindset and perception about meditation.

Not so long ago, saying that you meditate might have raised some eyebrows (In the Western part of the world I grew up it did at least). People were quick to label it as “new age,” “hippie,” or even “bizarre.” 

There was this strange notion that meditation was something mystical, religious, or meant only for those who had renounced the world.

Fast forward to today. Science has been generous in unveiling the countless benefits of meditation – from reducing stress and anxiety to improving concentration and overall emotional well-being.

Celebrities, business moguls, and even athletes openly talk about their meditation practices and how it’s helped them navigate the high-pressure demands of their fields. But then, when I share my experiences, I notice mixed reactions. Some people are genuinely curious and interested. But others… well, not so much.

Covid also played a part in meditation as the long hours of isolation caused so many to deal with unforeseen mental challenges.

There are still those who consider it ‘out there’ or ‘woo-woo.’ It’s as if the term ‘meditation’ triggers a vague uneasiness in them. Some might brush it off as a fad or even dismiss it as a waste of time. “How could sitting quietly for a few minutes do any good?” they’d argue.

Why is that, though? Perhaps it’s because meditation is hard to define. It’s not like running, where you can measure speed, distance, and calories burned. Meditation doesn’t offer tangible, immediate results. It’s a deeply personal practice, and the benefits are often subtle and experienced over time.

I firmly believe that it’s time we continue to break down these misconceptions. The more we talk about it, the more we normalize it. We need to share our stories, the struggles, and the triumphs.

I personally find that this is still prevalent with men, who find dealing with how they feel and think emasculating. Probably the best compliment I get, and criticism at the same time is “You don’t look like someone who meditates.” (to which I often reply, “What does someone who meditates look like?” – a topic for a different day.)

Show the world that meditation isn’t about achieving a specific state or having a mystical experience. It’s about creating a space for yourself, to breathe, to let go, to simply be.

So, while the stigma around meditation might not be as profound as it once was, it still exists. However, with awareness and open conversations, I’m confident we can change this narrative.

Can meditation be dangerous?

Generally, meditation is a safe practice that brings numerous benefits. It helps reduce stress, improve concentration, and even enhance our overall well-being. However, like any other practice, it’s important to approach it mindfully and responsibly.

Now, you might wonder why there would be any danger linked to a practice that’s all about peace and mindfulness. The answer is that, in some cases, people may have experiences during meditation that they find distressing or challenging to handle. This can particularly happen when diving too deep, too quickly, without proper guidance or preparation.

There have been instances where individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions like anxiety or depression have found their symptoms exacerbated during or after meditation. This doesn’t mean meditation caused these issues, but it might have brought hidden or suppressed feelings to the surface.

It’s a bit like diving into deep waters. If you’re a trained diver and you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, it’s an exhilarating experience. But if you dive too deep without the right equipment or knowledge, it can lead to problems.

So, what’s my advice? If you’re new to meditation, start slowly. Begin with a few minutes per day, and gradually increase the time. If you have a mental health condition, consult with a healthcare professional before you start meditating.

Also, remember that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ meditation practice. Different styles work for different people. Experiment and find what suits you best. If you find a particular style of meditation uncomfortable or disturbing, it’s okay to switch to another one.

Finally, always remember that it’s okay to stop. If a particular session feels overwhelming, gently bring yourself back to the present moment and open your eyes. Meditation is a journey, not a destination. It should be a source of comfort, not distress.

While meditation is generally safe, it’s important to approach it responsibly. Listen to your body and mind, and always prioritize your well-being. After all, the ultimate goal of meditation is to enhance your life, not complicate it.

You can read more about the dangers of meditation here: Is Meditation Bad? What Are The Negative Effects of Meditation?

What is your favorite meditation?

I just want to make clear that this answer isn’t the same as What is the best meditation, these are the ones that personally suited my life and state of mind at the time.

Guided Sleep Meditations

Not technically a meditation, but my first experience of trying to be aware of my mind and shifting my focus was guided sleep meditations or sleep hypnosis. I was going through a difficult time. A side passion equal to my love of meditation is sleep. Sleep is a healer for mind and body and I truly believe mental wellness starts with how well you sleep. The irony is that the worse your mental health the more difficult it is to sleep.

So to help the change, guided sleep meditations can really help.

I was a big fan of Michael Sealy and it really helped to break my cycle of insomnia.

Mindfulness Meditation

The next meditation I hold dear is mindfulness meditation. I bought the Jon Kabat-Zinn Masterclass and it completely opened my eyes to what felt like an age-old superpower that everyone should be doing. The science was there, Jon Kabat-Zinn was proving it, and his Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy program has been used in medical centers across the US.

But what I like about mindfulness meditation is that it goes hand in hand with mindful living, and the key aspect of a meditative life is to bring it into your day-to-day life.

Loving-Kindness (Metta) Meditation

Okay, this one is a bit of a love-hate relationship (the irony). For me, displays of affection have been difficult. Emotions were always a sign of weakness, we hardly hugged (which is why I am a big hugger now).

Loving kindness has shown me how wonderful life can feel, how you can really let go of hate, and even feel understanding and compassion toward those that, well, piss you off. Loving-kindness has been the most difficult for me, to love myself and show love toward others, but it’s had the biggest impact on my life.

Do we create ourselves, or do we discover ourselves?

I think that our culture, our upbringing, and the people closest to us create who we are. But as we become more self-aware, we discover ourselves and then re-create ourselves.

I’ll use a simple example. My mother always told me Cyprus had the best beaches. She grew up in Cyprus so to her, nothing could compare to the combination of the crystal clear beaches and the memories she grew up with. I grew up believing that Cyprus did have the best beaches, I even argued about it with people who had a different opinion.

But then I started to travel, visiting Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe. And I realized that I had been preaching my opinion without having explored, let alone other beaches, but whether this opinion was really my own.

Now my view has changed, and while I still love the beaches of Cyprus, I know that other beaches also merit being called ‘the best’.

The Takeaway

Do you have any more questions? Let me know in the comments and if it’s a recurring question I’ll be happy to have a go at answering it.

Related: How To Meditate: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of any mental health condition, we strongly advise consulting with a qualified healthcare professional.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *