In the last five years the concept of mindfulness has become a popular topic of discussion. Adults buy coloring books, claiming it helps them to relax and forget about the stress in their lives. My job has sent me to mindfulness workshops, which I gladly attended because I struggle with anxiety. Mindfulness training includes some form of meditation.
Meditation isn’t a new concept to me. I’ve attempted to integrate it into my life for over thirty years. Even though I knew the benefits of meditation I never integrated it into my daily life. That was until everything came crashing down on me and I had nowhere to go but up. That’s cliché, I know.
The one thing I was always most proud about myself, the thing I emphasized as my best trait, is the ability to think critically and analytically. The truth I now realize is that these skills I had developed were the most harmful aspects of myself, specifically when it came to living a calm, centered life.
I’d walk around with a million thoughts in my head, having an internal dialogue, thinking about the past and the future. When I got a smartphone, things only got worse. I now had more information than the Library of Alexandria in my hands. When I had idle time, I spent it looking through my phone’s news stream or at posts on social media. At night, I couldn’t fall asleep. There were a million thoughts racing through my head. I would grab my phone and send myself an email with a thought I was having. Sometimes that worked and some times it did not.
Many of you are dealing with the same thing. I know more people with anxiety and depression than I know people who don’t. I would often comfort myself by saying that at least I didn’t have it as bad as them. They took pills to get through the day. I didn’t take pills, which is why I barely made it through the day and then when I got home would crash on the couch with my phone in front of me.
Now I meditate every day. It helps a lot more than I can express in words. The best way I can describe it, is as an internal stillness. Many people are struggling to get by each day. Our brains are external stimulation seekers and we are inundated with stimuli on all fronts. Research has shown the impact that all this stimulation has on us. Depression and anxiety are rising at unprecedented levels. The young are suffering the worst. Is it any surprise!? They have no concept of a world that didn’t assault them with stimuli every minute of the day. It’s no wonder that we are seeing increased drug use and suicides among our youngest citizens.
As I slowly put this site together, I realize that all the topics I chose to discuss are geared towards living in the moment. Meditation is not something you do at a certain time each day, it’s something you can bring to every moment of the day.
Those moments set aside to “meditate” is the practice, re-centering, to help us gain control over our internal dialogue and provides a deeper understanding of who were are in this world.
The pages in this section are laid out in an order that I think will help everyone get comfortable making mindfulness and meditation a part of their life. I encourage you to read through all the different methods of meditating. Hopefully, this will help you to see that this is a journey that can take you as far as you want to go with it. I want to also emphasize that the basic meditation techniques are not written in stone. You don’t have to do something a specific way to get it right. I can find only one essential element to meditation, the ability to breath unencumbered.
Find what works best for you. Meditation works for everyone if you are open to having it improve your life.