Meditation can be a helpful way of ‘getting out of the mind’, slowing down that traffic and re-connecting with what you are beyond that - we often hear the saying ‘we are not our mind’.
There are formal and informal ways of meditating.
For me personally, I prefer informal – getting out in nature and walking in presence, observing what’s around me and not getting sucked into general mind chit chat of the past and future. I do like formal meditation’s by Mooji too which can be a very helpful reset when I need it. What are your thoughts on Meditation and what is your preferred practice?
Top comments (9)
Wow! Great question, meditation is super important to me right now. I experience severe ADHD and mild PTSD symptoms on a daily basis, so that's relevant to my response. It's also relevant that I spend an absurd amount of time reading about comparative religions for fun.
Meditation has been a fundamental tool for managing my own mental health and training my mind to be kinder, more focused, and quieter. Over the last year, I've recommended meditation to friends and family members dozens of times; it really is an incredible tool that everyone should have some level of experience with (teaching meditation in elementary school would be amazing).
Because of the benefits I felt when I first started practicing a few years ago, I dove pretty deep into meditation and eastern philosophy/religion. At this point, I have a couple of acquaintances who are much more experienced meditators than I am who provide feedback and advice for my practice. I wholeheartedly recommend seeking out a person like this if you plan to make meditation part of your daily routine!
In terms of the meditation practices I have used, I started out with beginner mindfulness practices (using apps like Headspace and Calm) and progressed to loving-kindness practices then began experimenting with zazen (more specifically, shikantaza). These days "just sitting" is my default method for practicing meditation because, paradoxically, it incorporates most of the skills I've learned in other forms of meditation. I also have a deep respect for Zen Buddhism (the person acting as my teacher is a Soto Zen priest in the Kodo Sawaki-Kosho Uchiyama lineage), so zazen makes sense for me.
Jacob this is amazing and it’s given me some meditation practices to try - thank you for sharing them. I also learn eastern philosophy and they have so much to offer the western world! I can imagine meditative practices are very important for managing ADHD and PTSD symptoms too, I’ll be looking into what you’ve shared as my meditation journey continues!
Informal meditation; however, I only do that sporadically.
I usually meditate with Viparita Karani "Legs-up-the-Wall Pose," but viparita actually means “inverted,” and karani means “in action.” There are many benefits to inverting the actions in your body. Like what you might be asking: When you put your legs up the wall with your pelvis elevated on a folded blanket, lymph and other fluids that can lead to swollen ankles, tired knees, and congested pelvic organs flow into the lower belly; this refreshes the legs and really helps to lessen lower back pain and inflammation. I use this time to meditate. It makes me sleep better as well. It is a great restorative and rejuvenating pose. Because your back is supported by the ground and your legs are supported by the wall, you can fully relax in this pose. This encourages deep and steady breathing, which helps calm your nervous system.
Another way is walking in nature and being present, taking in the sounds, smells, and visual beauty around me, but it takes a few minutes and lots of self-talk to quiet the mind
I also enjoy informal methods of meditation such as:
I have also discovered that completely disconnecting from all social media platforms for weeks to a full month can be a form of pressing reset or meditation. I think it's very important and beneficial to sit with your own thoughts and block the infinite amount of signals that compete for our attention on a daily basis.
Something I have been thinking about lately is whether or not flying drones could be therapeutic and a form of relaxation or adrenaline release. I am thinking of picking one up this summer and create a habit of going on weekend adventures exploring different locations.
This is great and it just shows that meditation doesn’t have to be a static practice. Thanks for sharing this. I love the idea of flying drones, anything that invites presence with our mind and body. The beauty of this is that it’s outside in nature.
I share your thoughts on social media too, our minds can become full and thus further away from ourselves and our bodies. When our mind is full there’s a possibility of rumination and getting overly activated in our thinking of past and future. Thanks for sharing!
I definitely think it’s important to try as many methods as you can and see what works for you, the mind is a complicated thing from person to person and having many different methods of meditation, I think really helps. Personally I like guided meditation, it really helps me relax and I don’t have to think at all about what I am doing.
Wonderful post, hadn't considered informal or formal difference before. On reflection I love both kinds of meditation myself. I run a mindfulness/Buddhist group locally so think I'll write a post about that sometime soon to share the learning! 😁
I try to find mindful moments throughout the day, e.g when washing my hair I focus on the calming physical sensation of smooshing the shampoo on my head!
That’s wonderful Evie and I really look forward to reading your posts! :-)
Started when i was 19y (1985), a friends father introduced me to mediation as i had very bad migraine(headache) and had to use very strong medication for it.
The problem didn't go away over night, but it decreed more and more and 1 year later it was gone. I think my problems was stress related, and therefore mediation helpt me.
I have try a lot of way, but found sitting, and just focus on breath helps me best.
Best place for me is outside on the stairs to my house, if the weather allow it.
I have found it to be more powerfull if doing it in groups,, i have many times attend 1,5h meditation at a buddist temple, and it's a powerfull feeling.