There are lots of meditation courses and many different styles and ways to meditate. My intention is for you to walk away relaxed, refreshed and recharged; and know how to do this for yourself each day.
The meditation I teach in our beginners’ ‘Learn to Meditate’ course is practical, based on tuning in to your senses, your breath, your body, and experiencing a variety of other focus points to utilse.
The course is a mix of practicing techniques together, education on why and how it works, and sharing experiences and questions along the way.
We start by busting the myths and experiencing the core ingredients, first hand, in a variety of breath practices. You’ll leave feeling equipped to practice throughout the week, with prompts you’ve come up with, as part of your existing routines. My approach is gradual and you will experience how as little as 30 seconds a few times a day has a positive effect on your energy and focus. You can practice as little or as much as you want.
The reason 20 minutes twice a day is not an achievable goal is, firstly the practicalities of fitting it in, and secondly a busy mind, having not meditated before, simply cannot sit for that length of time without giving you a hard time. Like any goal, SMART is the key. Each week participants walk away with Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound ways to practice using what we have covered and built upon in each session.
I’ve also found that while formal meditation (10 minutes or more at a time) is great, particularly directly after finishing your practice (before interacting with anyone else who might take you out of your pleasant state of calm), it usually isn’t enough for most of us, to get through busy, stressful days without still being stressed. I’ve found it takes a long time to build this buffer from a formal practice and the buffer was often not enough for me to keep me from being triggered. This is why I start with ‘spot meditations’ (10 seconds to 2 minutes or more) where you find opportunities for pauses in your day, to practice. Spot meditations allow a release of the ‘pressure valve’, taking you out of your busy mind for just a moment or two and giving your nervous system an opportunity to shift gears into a more relaxed state.
Time and time again I hear people tell me how much more energy they have from starting spot meditations in their day and how they are more present in meetings and catch themselves before reacting to triggers. The ability to respond consciously, rather than react before realising what you’ve said or done, comes from meditating and being mindful. You don’t need to do it for long periods of time to notice the benefits. Short meditations help you regulate your emotions, make conscious decisions, and improve focus. A bonus is your relationships will benefit as a result. Little and often is my recommendation.
The definitions describing meditation that I like most are those which talk about meditation being the practice of becoming familiar with yourself; and the ability to be with yourself. I meditate to cultivate my ability to be with myself; to be able to stop, be still and pause in the day. Going slow to go fast. This is more satisfying, for me, than being constantly pulled in different directions, or controlled, by the whims of my mind. These whims of my mind can often take the form of cravings or desires for something else, distracting me from what I am doing, or from being with myself. My mind also likes to push me to avoid pain and discomfort of situations and emotions at the expense of tuning in to the messages my body has for me, and the opportunity these bring to grow.
For me, meditation is all about the concept of ‘being with’. The ability to ‘be with’ embodies true presence and mindfulness. To ‘be with’ yourself, to ‘be with another’, 'to ‘be with’ what is; there’s an intrinsic sense of allowing, and accepting, rather than striving and busying ourselves with other things. It’s about connecting, with yourself, and with others, and the world around you; a most fundamental human need. This ability comes from meditation. This is why I meditate and am so passionate about showing people how simple it can be.
Our next local course starts on May 1st, in Mordialloc. It’s on Wednesday evenings from 7.30-8.45pm. If you’d like to find out more get in touch; it’s my favourite topic of conversation! Nicky
Our 5 week Intro to Meditation course can be run in your workplace during lunchtimes, or before or after work. We also offer ‘Taste of Meditation’ sessions and can customise mindfulness and meditation sessions to suit your team’s needs.
Along with Meditation courses, workshops & programs, we offer Individual Coaching in Mindfulness Meditation and Wellness at Corporate workplaces and by phone. Our weekly Yoga and Meditation classes are in Parkdale & Mentone.