Meditation techniques actually date back 2,400 years in Buddhist tradition, but have been updated over the past few decades to appeal to a new secular audience. Today, mindfulness has become an everyday buzzword. We are told we need to meditate – it’s the in-thing, it will sort out our problems, it’s the solution to a balanced life, to manage stress levels and increase happiness
Social influencers like Deepak Chopra have been preaching to us the benefits of meditation for years and have since been joined by numerous thought leaders, ranging from Bill Gates to Arianna Huffington of the HuffPost.
Arianna Huffington sums up the practice of meditation in her bestseller, Thrive –
“Mindfulness is about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected”
She goes on to explain how this might be important in the business world where being fully present on the job will result invariably in more effective leadership, creativity and focus.
Deepak explains meditation to be the art of tuning in, to get in touch with yourself rather than tuning out or getting away from it all.
“So, meditation is a way to get in the space between your thoughts. You have a thought here, a thought here, and there’s little space between every thought. That’s where the essence of you, lies.”
Recently, a trial of 6000 school children in the UK has been implemented, to assess whether learning the skill of mindfulness can prevent mental illness.
Researchers from 4 major universities said the trial is based on the theory that, just as physical training is linked with better physical health, so psychological resilience training is linked to better mental health.
Makes sense, yes?
One of our favourite PS practitioners, Tom Cronin set up The Stillness Project where he educates, and trains thousands in the art of mediation. It is paramount to success and wellbeing he tells us,
“What meditation does is releases the flow of the happy hormones – oxytocin and serotonin. When we are stressed we don’t release these hormones.”
Tom continues to explain how mindfulness allows access to the very essence of you – the ‘you’ behind your thoughts. What this does is allows you to become far less reactive to circumstances, flow through life better, and feel more happiness on a daily basis.
Given the fact that mindfulness and meditation require no qualifications, are accessible to everyone, everywhere, it’s free and totally portable,
Can we afford NOT to meditate?