And the potential benefits of meditation are well-known for anyone who is slightly interested:
- Enhances self-awareness
- Reduces stress
- Lengthens attention span
- Aids memory
- Increases empathy
- Alleviates anxiety & frustration
- Promotes emotional health
- Can generate kindness
- May help fight addictions
- Improves sleep
- Alters reaction to (acute) discomfort
- Increases body awareness and general well-being
It does take a little guidance to get the hang of ‘doing’ meditation.
An initial burst of momentum always helps too, for example, a 10-day Vipassana course, sitting in total silence.
Whatever the setting, sitting down and doing nothing is a struggle for most…
Take it to the extreme – a monk or recluse hiding up in a mountain for the purpose of full-time meditation. He/she is drawn to the concept of enlightenment. It’s a calling.
Most people would do anything to avoid being (stuck) in that situation.
Now apply the same logic from the monk or recluse’s point of view:
They would do anything to avoid moving around in society, interacting with people, building a family with someone they love, living an ‘ordinary’ life.
As the well-known life-strategist Anthony Robbins once joked,
“You think meditating in a cave up in a mountain is hard,
try sharing living space with a spouse.”
In all seriousness, it seems to me the challenge is maintaining a sense of equanimity when we are involved in the world – however that manifests for you or me or anyone.
Not when we’re all alone in a cave, with nothing coming at us.
As an introvert, that would actually be a kind of holiday for me.
Meditation can be a mini-holiday for you, without having to run away to an isolated mountain. And it is free.
Here is how I meditate.