Why Meditate? And How?

January 24, 2012

 

A few years ago, I started meditating.

At first it was for 5 minutes at a time. It was hard. It was uncomfortable. It wasn’t enjoyable. My mind blabbered, my knees hurt.

Over the past few years, after numerous classes and stopping and starting again, I’ve built up to a practice of two hours a day – one hour in the morning and one in the evening (that’s on my good days; I don’t always hit the two hour mark).

I’ve experienced the positive effects in my life – less stress, less anxiety, a better feel for my emotions and my body, more awareness of the ways I’m crazy and destructive, a better memory, a stronger ability to savor and appreciate life.

In the society we’ve created, with its pressures and multitasking and addictions and smartphones and ADHD, meditation is the single most important thing a person can do for their well-being, happiness, serenity and sanity.

And more and more, there are scientific studies backing up the physiological benefits. Finally, science is starting to figure out why the spiritually-minded have been espousing meditation for centuries.

Check out the science here.

If you can’t find meditation classes near you (google around), you can begin with these free guided meditations, starting with the 5 minute one:

http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

But I’d really recommend classes. It gets you more comfortable with the practice, and doing it with other people is more motivating than struggling to sit there on your own.

Funny how terrifying just sitting there, breathing, can be…

Burning Man, 2010

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One Response to “Why Meditate? And How?”

  1. I posted a blog about neuroplasticity. I’m going to re-blog this.

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