I’ve been meditating for over 15 years. When I was a Christian back in high school and college I thought meditation was a weird thing. I presumed only people who believed in crystals and the New Age movement meditated. As I left my faith and began to explore self-help, I realized there is much more to meditation than finding a connection with some higher power.
Through work with cognitive behavioral therapy, I came across the works of Jon Kabat-Zinn. I purchased his book Wherever You Go, There You Are. This work taught me the foundation of mindfulness. I learned the importance of breathing and how to deal with anxiety in that fashion.
From that point on, I did a lot of my own research, digging into the works of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, and others in Buddhist thought. While I don’t consider myself a Buddhist, I find a lot of meaning in their philosophy and views of the world. As I’ve written before, I identify with the five remembrances of the Buddha and think about them daily.
I also found doing yoga for many years taught me to control my breath. I learned that my breath was something I could return to at any time or place and find some grounding in my life. I don’t want to make this sound super easy or casual—it can be difficult at times. And it takes a great deal of practice to get to the point where I can remind myself without too much trouble to breathe and find a focus that way.
Nowadays I try and commit somewhere from 10 to 25 minutes each day meditating. I attempt to do so in the morning but sometimes I’ll do it at night right before I go to bed. Depending on the time of day, meditating can either get me ready for the day to come or calm down so I can sleep.
In my blog post next week I’ll give some tips on how to get into meditation if it’s a new thing for you.
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This blog is an exploration of the subjects of belonging and loneliness. I also look at mental health issues. I seek to provide content to my readers that is informative and helpful. If you don't want to miss anything, sign up for my email list.