Why I Meditate…
I’ve been meditating on and off for 19 years. I’ve always seen it as a bit of a chore 20 LONG minutes of boredom. I’ve tried focusing on my breath, the sounds in the room, the guided practices and sensations in my body, ashram time – everything!
Recently, I decided to stop trying to be a ‘good’ meditator – and just sit for 15 mins regardless of how it made me feel. I admire people who have a 1hr practice – but it’s not for me - yet. My spiritual practice involves 30mins of high intensity exercise followed by 15 mins of sitting and observing my mind and importantly having a guru that can steer me back to meditation :) The difference is magical– I’m able to get out of my minds incessant chatter a little bit quicker now. My hamster wheel thought process has an exit sign. Meditation has changed how I interact with people I love the most and is definitely helping me with my patience - with myself and others. Of course I still get angry and judgmental – but I recover and move on faster.
The car is driving at 230km/h. Everything passes very fast outside, it is burning fuel at an exceptional rate and the driver loses control at times. Until the inevitable happens. It crashes into three other vehicles that were driving within the speed limit. An accident unavoidable. Several people injured. That is how I felt. My mind was the car, moving non stop, burning me out. I wasn’t appreciating the life and scenery outside my windows and many times I lost control, clashed with other people. But the reality was that my life was moving at a normal speed, but my mind was moving infinitely faster. It took over all my thoughts, it worried all the time, it planned all the time, daydreamed and never, ever took a break. Meditation helped me, as a driver, to take control of my car. It put me in charge of what my mind thinks and slowed my wandering thoughts. It allowed me to appreciate the things around me , concentrate on one thing at the time, fully. It allows me to be present in the present moment. Meditation was hard, is hard. Sometimes 3 minutes feels like forever. But it helps me to tune my mind’s engine, gain control of my thoughts and better enjoy the ride of life.
Why mediate? For me I still go up, down and sideways but now I see and can watch my mind do that, this is a game changer when it comes to reaction and my view of my own perspective.
Meditation has taught me the the skill of shifting my attention and harnessing the present moment. Before that, my thoughts and experiences were fused. There was no neutral ground upon which to rest. I now find that in the breath. And although it’s a constant tug-of-war, more often than not just noticing a negative thought is enough to unarm it. No practice or realization has ever so subtly changed the essential quality of my life.
I was getting married in 2017 and knew I didn’t want to miss a second of my big day so I started Meditating to learn to control the unwarranted anxiety, and to concentrate on the now. Meditation allowed me to not only be fully present on my wedding day, but has also changed my life
Meditation helps me to reconnect with my emotions, which have been suppressed by my overly rationale thinking. It gives me the freshest perspective on my current thought patterns, feelings and body sensations while helping me to realign my true values and beliefs. For me, meditation is the simplest most authentic way to connect the mind and body
Meditation brings peace by quietening everything around me: going inward and focusing on something specific is like turning the volume and pace button down on the world around you. I love it, once you can learn to give just a little bit of time to it, it’s simple and gives so much back.
Here goes: "Like many people, my mind races and races trying to keep up with everything. Meditation really gave me the practical ability to somehow be still for those few or longer minutes and be able to feel clear afterward. It also brought to my attention what's really most important in my mind if that makes sense! As a newbie, I found the guided meditation particularly helpful.
Learning about mindfulness and meditation has been one of the most beneficial experiences of my life. I have found meditation practice to be an incredible antidote to the busy, stressful world around us and it has helped to keep me calm through some challenging times. I am by no means an expert and I still don’t meditate as often as I’d like to, but now that I’ve discovered it, I genuinely feel that it will always be there and I can fall back on it whenever I need to.
I started ‘mindfulness’ in October 2016. At the time, my husband felt that it was a bit of hocus pocus, but that if it was what I wanted, he was happy for me to do it. After completing the course, my attitude and reactions to situations became noticeably different, an observation made by my husband and family also. I was a lot more accepting of circumstances beyond my control and lived in the moment, realizing that anything beyond that was pointless in worrying about. My husband was diagnosed with an illness during this time, and I don’t think I could have coped with this, without having the tools from mindfulness to help me deal with this news.
Judith (The Netherlands)
I am very happy I’ve started meditating with Briar's help. During her course I’ve learned how to ease my mind and focus on positivity and silence. I find it hard to sit down and take the time to practice, but I am still learning. It was helpful to hear the experiences of other students, as it’s not an easy road. I now see the positive results of meditation and will continue my practice.