Mindfulness and Meditation

I've been practicing meditation for over 16 years, and for 10 of those years practicing and teaching meditation was the main focus of my life. Being the parent of a young child means that I don't get to meditate as often as I used to, but I still find it an invaluable support in my life and work, and that my clients find learning some of its principles hugely beneficial.

With media articles published pretty much every week highlighting new pieces of scientific research that demonstrate the huge range of psychological and health benefits of regular meditation, it's amazing that so few people do it. Despite all its positive press, meditation still hasn't thrown off lingering associations with the smell of stale incense and an obligation to eat brown rice.

In recent years mindfulness has become something of a buzz-word in organisations and personal development, and I sometimes wonder if this is a way of sneaking in meditation by the back door - making it OK to introduce the practices and principles of meditation to the workplace in a way that sounds more business-like and less 'cosmic'.

You don't have to sit in a funny position to meditate - you can do it on the tube, waiting for the bus, or even while walking. You don't even have to do it for very long - 10 minutes a day is enough for significant effects - and just taking a few moments to notice your body and environment is often enough to bring a fresh perspective to a situation.

There are lots of great resources to help you learn to meditate, and I'd particularly recommend Wildmind, but most people find that having personal tuition from an experienced teacher is the most effective and supportive approach. There's more about different types of meditation on my Buddhist Coach website, where I'll soon be offering some free led meditations to download.