Meditation in the modern world!
Meditation in the modern world!
In today’s world we get so caught up in distraction, social media, online shopping, t.v our minds are constantly active, constantly looking for something, living and waiting for the future, I’ll be happy when I lose weight, I find a partner, I get the promotion. We find ourselves living in the past, regretting something that we’ve said or done and building ourselves a prison cell where our punishment is re-living and playing the movies of our failures.
We spend our lives planning, making lists, busying ourselves and burning the candle at both ends, squeezing every last minute out of our day and filling our schedule with no free time to simply stop.
What does Modern Mindfulness have to do with with all of this?
When we focus on our future or past we forget to see the amazing things that are going on around us. We have all experienced a moment of true mindfulness at one time in our life such as the birth of your baby, running through the finish line, sitting on the beach and watching the waves or being with someone when they are passing away. At this moment in time we are truly present. The only thoughts that are going on in our mind is how meaningful this moment is. As Ekhart Tolle says “Now is the only reality. All else is either imagination or memory”.
The great thing about mindfulness is that you can do it in a formal or informal practice. Sitting in a formal meditation practice to begin with might feel strange and awkward. You will be thinking thoughts such as “Am I doing this right? Do I really do nothing?” thoughts will appear – this does not mean that you are failing. Sitting in an upright alert position for ten minutes a day, following your breath and watching the rise and fall of your chest will vastly improve your well-being. The peace that this ten minute practice will bring you is something to get excited about, if you’ve never tried meditation before then give it a go, you’d possibly lose ten minutes aimlessly scrolling through social media posts.
If you find that taking ten minutes to sit and pay attention to your breathing would be impossible for you then you can also try an informal practice like noticing your feet when you are walking. Paying attention to them as you are moving forward. The sensations, the weight of your body held on the right then the left side, being present with yourself with every step that you take, loosely releasing your attachment to thinking. Feeling connected to the ground as you move. Knowing that it is okay for your mind to wander as it inevitably will but once you notice you have drifted off into thinking this is where the beauty of mindfulness is found, in the noticing, the act of returning to your feet as they move forward.
Anyone can do this, it is absolutely free of charge, you don’t have to be the tree hugging, top knot wearing hippy, a Buddhist monk or a feathery stroker to get into meditation. It is the best way that I know how to quieten my sometimes very busy mind from all of the internal chatter that when I simply sit formally or informally I feel like someone has hit the reset button and my thoughts are clearer, my judgement is better, I worry less and peace and calmness is my reality.