Mindfulness Meditation: The What, Why, and How

Greetings friends!

Recently, I was a guest blogger at Kristie's Blue Jeans, blogging about how to incorporate meditation into your lives, even if you are super busy. (Who isn't?) I figured that some people may benefit from learning about my meditation journey, and how practicing meditation can benefit you too!

Many people look at meditation as a complete lifestyle overhaul; one in which, if they embrace meditation, they will then have to start eating organic hemp seeds, wearing Birkenstocks, and creating natural remedies using medicinal herbs. While all of these changes can certainly be made (and I highly recommend) it is by no means necessary. You can still eat conventionally grown apples, wear your glitter Uggs, and continue using industrially produced medications. I promise.

Additionally, many folks think they are too busy for meditation. That meditation is too time-consuming, too challenging, and requires a lot of “stuff” to do it right. I’m here to tell you that is a load of BS. The best thing about meditation (other than the insane benefits) is that you need absolutely nothing to do it! Sure, many people use meditation pillows, swear by healing stones, and listen to meditation CDs, but none of these things are essential to start and sustaining your meditation practice. I have been practicing meditation for years and have never owned any special seating or trinkets.

There are many different meditation styles and techniques out there. You may want to try all of these to find the one(s) that suit you best. There is no right or wrong technique. I am personally guided by a technique called mindfulness meditation. My mind wanders. A lot. As someone who has struggled with ADHD her entire life, I’ve learned to embrace this quirk, even throughout my meditation. Some techniques suggest focusing on a particular thought, mantra, or style of breathing to help focus your attention. I have found that when I attempt to do this, I end up failing (though, of course there is no failing in meditation) and feel bad about it. I struggle to maintain focus on a particular thing and notice my mind wandering. While this is perfectly natural, I knew I was “supposed” to be doing it. Practicing with these ideas in mind was a lot of work…literally. I did not feel relaxed, nor grounded, and I dreaded doing it. Throughout my journeys, I discovered the technique of mindfulness. According to the bloggers at Gaiam, mindfulness meditation:

“encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each mental note as it arises.

Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns. Over time, you can become more aware of the human tendency to quickly judge experience as “good” or “bad” (“pleasant” or “unpleasant”). With practice, an inner balance develops.”

This was exactly what I needed. Not only did it relieve my anxiety about doing things “wrong” but it enhanced so many other parts of my life. Through my practice of releasing self-judgment through my practice, I began to view my life, experiences, and stress in a different light. Instead of attributing a label to these experiences, I began noticing how I felt about them, why they were/were not happening, and ways I could make changes, or not make changes and continue feeling satisfaction in my life. I became less “judgy” and impulsive, and more introspective and balanced.

Whatever meditation style(s) you choose, you can manage a busy lifestyle while practicing meditation. Can you afford not to?

Want to get started? Check out my guest post over at Kristie’s Blue Jeans for meditation tips for busy beginners!


For more resources on meditation, visit The Buddhist Centre, and/or check out my Resources for Mindfulness Amazon List.

DISCLAIMER: All the information presented here and on the Mindful Rambles blog is for educational and resource purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for or in addition to any advice given to you by your medical professional. Before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise regimen, please consult your physician.

Do you meditate? What, if any, techniques do you use? Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment!

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