So much is said about the benefits of meditation. Yet, it remains elusive for so many. Several find it extremely challenging to meditate. I think we all have friends who decry, “I would love to meditate, I just don’t know how!”
In a post COVID-19 world, we are all going to have to adopt measures to deal with heightened anxiety and find means to promote better mental health. Many experts suggest galvanizing our health will make us better positioned to deal with health insults. Popular approaches include yoga, spa-based wellness practices such as massages and other therapies and meditation.
According to The Good Body, a research-focused health website, the number of meditation practitioners tripled in the seven years between 2012 and 2019. Yet, only 14% of people report having tried it once. It is now as popular as yoga is in the US. Sixty percent of those who do engage in meditation describe tangible benefits, ranging from decreasing depression, assisting with lower back pain, relief from anxiety and 76% claim an improvement in their overall health and wellness.
Through our ACHiEVE podcast, we have heard four inspiring takes on meditation, it’s challenges, it’s rewards and ways to access it. We wanted to share them with you.
Ashley Wray, founder of Mala Collective in Vancouver, Canada, shares with us a comical account of her first attempt at meditating. The experience embarked her on a voyage of self discovery and of exploration of meditation. She shares her view on why meditation can be so intimidating, quoting a saying by French philosopher Blaise Pascal, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” She highlights how people struggle with being alone with our thoughts and crave distraction as a means to avoid it.
To enjoy her story, watch Ashley in her own words:
Suzanne Hill, an acupuncturist and healer who founded The Ohm Center in New York, offers a number of guided meditations on her website, where she marries meditation with wisdom training. She talks about how meditation can help you remove limiting thoughts and cause a shift within you that will empower you to better face life’s challenges. She states, “You accept things that happen to you in your life even though your life has not changed…your experience and relationship to such events becomes absolutely more harmonious and you are more accepting of those things.”
To hear more, watch Suzanne in her own words:
Max Josephson, an advocate for leveraging technology for mindfulness and Chief Technology Officer of Double Blind, talks about his experiences with color and ensconcing himself in color as a means to access a meditative state. By relying on the phenomena of colors triggering our emotions, we can begin to engage in emotional regulation, a key side effect of meditation. He has been dubbed the Mark Rothko of mediation.
Hear it directly from him:
Phil Kohn, co-host of The Breath Circle, shares the benefits he feels when he participates in 10-day long Vipassana retreats. He describes how the beginning days are a challenge to control the ‘monkey mind’. This initial clunkiness gives way to an unfolding of peace and calm in the silence that he equates to bliss.
There are some parts of the experience that Phil recalls vividly,
“I remember exactly where I was day eight and a few other things that happened that day where I was like, wow, like, life is so great. I’d come out of a pretty well long stretch of being very challenged with some chronic health issues and felt some very low points. And then just to pop to such a high point and really start to have a taste of where the mind can go with no external stimuli, you know, nobody’s feeding me medicine, nobody’s giving me drugs. And here I was the highest I’ve ever felt. It was just such a beautiful taste of, Wow, this is so real. I mean, this is experiential wisdom that I never could have intellectualized or read about anywhere.”
Hear it in his own words:
For full episodes, visit https://achievepodcast.com