M Is For Meditation
Meditation is a key part of Mindfulness – it enables you to have space to become truly Mindful, and puts you in the right place to carry that Mindfulness with you into other areas of your life. All sorts of people have all sorts of questions about Mindful Meditation, so here are the top 5 I get asked. I hope you find the answers useful.
How should I sit?
Unlike some other forms of meditation, when practicing mindfulness it really doesn’t matter how you sit. Most important is that you’re comfortable, and able to relax. I use a meditation toadstool a lot of the time, but you could sit on a chair, or lie on the floor or the bed…. The choice is yours. For some meditations you may even get up and move around.
I would recommend that you try not to have your legs crossed, and if you’re on a chair you plant your feet on the floor. What works for you?
Should I clear my mind of all thoughts?
No. The whole idea of Mindfulness is that you focus on one thing, turning your awareness to that fully. You should try and clear your mind of the other thoughts that distract you from that, and there are skills that are taught on courses that can assist you in removing those other thoughts when they come along.
Do I need to chant?
No. Some other forms of meditation involve chanting, and you may have heard sounds like ‘ommm’ connected with meditation, but for Mindfulness we do not vocalise in any way.
Is It Religious?
Mindful Meditation is not religious. Many meditation forms have their roots in Buddhist practices, and Mindfulness was also introduced in its modern form by Mark Williams, who is a Church of England ordained Priest, but the practice of Mindful Meditation is not set in any religious doctrine and is open to all, of faith, or not.
How Do I Start?
The most important thing about getting started with Mindful Meditation is to do just that – don’t be scared of doing it wrong, there are no definitive rules, so you can just have a go.
It may be a good idea to think beforehand where you might like to meditate, and of a time that will fit in with your day. There are lots resources available for led meditation too – Mark Williams’ book includes a CD that is a great way to begin.
Don’t beat yourself up if you lose focus a lot. The more practice you get, the more natural it will become.