World Meditation Day– 21st May
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
These words, attributed to an unknown Zen master, are probably the most famous, and arguably the wisest, words ever uttered on the subject of meditation.
The paradox is, of course, that the more you have to do, and the less time you have to do it, the more important it is to stop whatever you’re doing and take time out. Meditation is one of the best, and certainly one of the healthiest, ways to do that.
It can be hard to describe exactly what meditation is or how it feels. I’ve been meditating nearly every day for more than a decade, and I still struggle to define it, but at its heart I believe it’s a way to quieten the mind, relax the body and turn down the volume on the chatterbox in my head that is continuously spouting nonsense.
Types of Meditation to try this world meditation day
There are as many types of meditation as there are practitioners. You may have tried some of them: mindfulness, visualisation, walking meditation, mantra meditation, OM chanting, Vipasanna, and loving-kindness are just some of the many ways to do it. I’ve tried several of those, but my regular daily practice is TM – transcendental meditation. Whatever form suits you, the main thing is to do it regularly. Like any other practice, establishing it as a habit is the key to its success.
The benefits of meditation are well-known. It improves sleep and concentration, relieves anxiety and stress (exams, anyone?), can reduce cravings and pain, helps you to feel calmer, makes you more productive and creative. Some people claim to experience a feeling of bliss when they meditate. I can’t claim that, but I have always felt better after my daily session, and I feel less at peace if I miss one.
We have several books that give greater insight into this most ancient of spiritual practices. Log into LibrarySearch to access them:
Learn to meditate: the art of tranquillity, self-awareness and insight – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)
Wherever you go, there you are – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)
Meditation for everybody – Edinburgh Napier University (exlibrisgroup.com)
Meditation Day 21st of May
This year, Saturday, May 21st marks World Meditation Day. Why not treat yourself to a session? It’ll only take 20 minutes – or an hour if you’re really busy.
By Lesley McRobb
Read more on Mental Health awareness here and here
and don’t forget to check out our virtual relaxation space.