Beginning to meditate might seem like a daunting prospect. Perhaps the word ‘meditation’ evokes the esoteric, something mystical and detached from normal, everyday experiences. Perhaps it is something people might explore once their worldly affairs are in order, not just now. But meditation is simple and there is no reason to wait to enjoy its benefits. It can be practised by any person from any background, is easy to learn and will only support and enrich your everyday life.
There are no elaborate rituals, spiritual paraphernalia or yogic positions in meditation. All that is needed is a space to sit comfortably, ideally away from noise and interruption. It is time for you.
Sitting with a straight back, the meditator comes to stillness. No special breathing technique is required, just the natural breath. The meditator may notice that, even with their eyes closed, their eyeballs continue to dart around. By relaxing and stilling them, the mind also begins to calm.
The School of Meditation teaches a mantra-based meditation. A mantra is a simple word or sound that the meditator repeats silently and inwardly. It is a word with no meaning attached to it in the meditator’s mother tongue. By focusing on the mantra, the meditator can more easily transcend the surface level of the mind and access deeper, quieter levels of mind.
When the mind inevitably wanders, the mantra is like a handrail, to guide the meditator gently back.
Meditation can be almost effortless. It can initiate deep rest and calm. Meditators often emerge more focused and energised after a short period of meditation. The energy is not frantic; it often has a still, clear quality.
Those waiting until they have more time in their lives to try meditation might want to jettison that concept and try meditating today. Many people report that the investment of two short periods of meditation each day – suggested for first thing in the morning and in the late afternoon or early evening – actually create more mental space, with things falling into place more effectively with less mental clutter.
Establishing a meditation practice does not mean taking up a new lifestyle or abandoning anything important to you. Resting the mind enables the meditator to reengage with the multiple stimuli and tasks of daily life with a sense of mindful awareness and connection to something deeper in themselves.
It can seem almost too simple…
But its simplicity means it can be taken up by any human being, whatever their background. A space to sit comfortably and a willingness to be with yourself quietly for a short time are all the qualifications required.
Although meditation is in many ways a solitary activity, it is also extremely beneficial to meditate with others. To experience that peace together can be a very grounding and enriching experience.
There are still ways to connect with others interested in meditation during the pandemic. At the School of Meditation, we offer a four-week Introductory Course for those looking to explore establishing a regular practice. The next course starts on 29th April 2021 and places can be booked here. The sessions, held on Zoom, offer plenty of insight into the philosophy underpinning the meditation technique as well as practical guidance and the chance to discuss the challenges and opportunities that meditating presents.
Click here if you are interested in booking a place, or contact the School’s office to find out more.
The School also offers free online guided meditations five times a week via Zoom. Click here for the link.