The thought of meditating can be daunting for those who have an overactive mind or find it difficult to relax. But like anything, meditation can be learnt and mastered with the right guidance and a regular practice, with amazing benefits.
It’s not a miracle cure for anything, but a way to gain perspective, a better understanding and self awareness, without judgement or conflict of thoughts or feelings.
According to the Buddhist Centre… “Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being.”
Myths and misconceptions about how meditation “should” be often stop us from practicing this beneficial past time because we think we aren’t “doing it properly”, but the more western and relaxed forms of meditation encourage us to keep going and allow these things to happen in order to experience what meditation can really offer. Some myths like, we must stay super still or must not doze off, we must not have any thoughts in our head or be getting distracted, that we need a perfectly quiet place or large amounts of spare time to meditate every day. If this was the case then we’d be like that lady in the stock image on the right and never get anything done, or we just wouldn’t ever meditate!
There are countless definitions of meditation and thousands of books, CDs, Apps and classes available, all with different opinions and techniques. Eventually as you become more clear on what meditation means to you, you’ll also have a different experience of it to others. The key to meditation is to find a style you like or teacher you connect with, take the pressure off yourself (we have enough of that already) and commit to becoming better at it over time.
Through Empowering Meditations, James Cole offers two pathways to meditation.
The first is for the beginners. Private lessons cover the very basics of meditation. These sessions strip away all the unnecessary aspects that are often attributed to meditation and provide simple, easy to follow instructions that can be tailored to your lifestyle and beliefs. He covers the myths and misconceptions of meditation and brings his teaching back to the basic principles behind all styles. This meditation is for anyone wanting to get started.
The second is for those who have a basic understanding of meditation and want to use it primarily for relaxation, quieting the mind and gaining a greater sense of self, clarity and focus. These meditations are often provided in groups but can also be tailored to specific requirements in private sessions. James’ underlying philosophy is to make meditation accessible to everyone.