Exploring Meditation

Why do we meditate? And what does it look like for someone who doesn’t “meditate?”

I’ve never been that person who can sit comfortably for long periods of time, eyes closed, meditating on my thoughts. My mind races, my legs fall asleep and, in no time, my eyes pop open and I’m back up and running. To speak candidly, when I think of “meditation”  I immediately become a little antsy. But I believe it’s only because I try to fit myself into a meditative “mold”. Meditation is personal, and different for each person. So, how can I have it work for me?

Before I explore anything new, I want to know why I’m doing it. What does successful meditation mean anyway? Basically (aka according to the dictionary), meditation is the act of continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation. Some people say meditation is about training, focusing and silencing the brain, being mindful. According to the Huffington Post, “meditation is a science — the science of understanding the pathways of the brain and how they react to different situations, experiences and stimuli. Through this understanding, we can learn how to respond to these reactions and train the brain to focus.” But why do it? Anyone who regularly meditates can tell you their personal challenges and successes, but research has also shown that meditation may scientifically help reduce stress, strengthen the brain and cultivate positive emotions.


But what happens if you can’t reach a place of focus and reflection by sitting still? Is it meditation if it doesn’t “look” like meditation? For me, I reach deep thought when I am in nature. Hiking allows me the space and beauty to be one with my mind. In nature’s peacefulness, I am able to concentrate on my inner thoughts. One of my girlfriends meditates by listening to her records with her favorite incense burning. Meditation looks different for each person — and that’s ok! Whatever works for you, to slow your mind and ponder thoughts, is a form of meditation. Active or still, it’s up to you.


+How do you meditate? As someone new to meditation, I’d love to hear how you slow down and reflect.

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  1. I first got into meditation through an app called “stop breathe, and think”! It’s amazing, initially I couldn’t sit still with my eyes closed if my life depended on it. This app takes a poll of how you’re feeling physically and mentally and chooses a guided meditation for you to follow to either overcome how you’re feeling or to improve your mood past the point its at. Theres also an option for a self guided meditation, where it gives you a timer with a bell chime at the end, and you can earn stickers based on certain things you “unlock” through meditation with the app. It has improved my life immensely and I share it with anyone that will listen to me!

  2. I recently took a class in mindful meditation and the teacher (Cyndi Lee, who is terrific) suggested we use breath as an anchor in meditation, away from thoughts, whether positive or negative.

    Other meditative activities I enjoy are yoga (yin, restorative, and ashtanga are the most meditative for me) and coloring. I recently bought a mandala coloring book designed for adults and I love it!

  3. Loved this thought piece. I think we often get wrapped up in how to do really anything the “right way” but the “right way” really is different for everyone. I feel in my most meditative state when running – it’s when my head is the clearest and I am just in the moment for me there.

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  4. My mom is meditating since 3 years now. She is doing a meditation called “satsang”, it’s a meditation from the heart. You have to focus on your heart (like it’s a light, a source of power) and be silent during approx. 30min. Every year, there is “retreat” in India (it’s totally free (all sessions actually), but you can donate, if you want) where you will have the chance to meet the “master”… My mom said she didn’t believe in a “master” (we don’t believe in God in our family or in something divine (except nature and Humans), so it wasn’t easy at all to believe in the power of a divine alive man giving you the energy and the vibration for a better meditation.. It was more like “is that a joke?!”) but when she was in front of him, she felt something different, something she never felt before. She thought he is one of the rare person able to use more than 10% of our brain.. Not 100% of course, but a little more than anybody else and it makes the difference. And that’s thanks to the meditation.
    The goal of this kind of meditation is to have a maximum of people doing it to create a mental force to eradicate terrorism, war, violence, hate, etc. from this Earth. I don’t know i fI believe, even if I want to but that’s the most beautiful message I never heard :)
    So I tried one week ago and I have to say.. I will continue. I felt myself like vibrating. My heart was vibrating. Like I wasn’t here. I was somewhere else, but I can’t say where. And nobody around me (we were 20-25 in the room). I also had no notion of time (like 30 minutes became 5). It was really strange. I can’t really explain. And I felt relaxed after that. Relaxed and calm and mature. But I like to believe it could bring Peace on Earth :) Imagine.. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I come from Belgium, we just had terrorism attacks a few days ago and I feel insecure right now. If it can help me, I want to imagine :)

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