Meditation & Mindfulness: debunking the ancient practice

#Trending: Meditation Pop-ups and meditation apps that help clear your mind, disconnect, unwind and "sleep better."

Where does meditation come into play and why do we see it so commonly appear in our wellness centres and fitness facilities in the urban core?

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As something that has been previously widely overlooked, disregarded, or simply put on the backburner; the excuse: "I don't have the time - my mind can't focus..." widely exists. We live in a saturated, over-stimulated environment of gadgets, alarms, ramshackles of human traffic where we constantly want to consume and have more, more, more. We grieve when the expectation of providing instant and immediate gratification isn't fulfilled on our mobile devices, in our inboxes, by the sound of our notifications.

Total Myth: The Buddhist tradition of meditation requires one to find a sanctuary or a sacred temple to sit still while being completely renunciated from the world.

While there are 10-day retreats such as Vipassana located outside of the city, and one could turn a revered eye towards becoming a monk and making meditation a studied, life-long practice, there are simple methods in incorporating meditation to every day tasks and finding ways to quiet the mind before or after a long-winded day. 

Working with a guided practitioner, meditation practices can be led from 30-60 minutes a session, often citing that students should maintain their own practice for at least 10 minutes a day. 

There are many techniques, moving from the realm of the self and the physical body to perhaps reaching higher realms of expanding the psychological self much further into feeling unified with the universe. Counting your breaths, envisioning visual and sensory characteristics of your breath, these are all accesible ways mentioned in this short podcast:

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BENEFITS OF MAINTAINING A REGULAR MEDITATION PRACTICE:

  • Better focus and concentration
  • Ease of anxiety and depression
  • Monitoring of fight or flight emotions as they arise - anger/aggression, fear
  • Dissolution of egoism, pride
  • Better grasp at patience and compassion towards self and others

This in turn allows for better workflow productivity and relaxation/calmness of the mind when the physical body allows the mind's thoughts to slow down.

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Have you heard of Headspace and other meditation apps? It's funny how we even have to schedule in and "make time" for the act of meditation when we are constantly plugged in. Perhaps, you can "make time" to also put away your digital devices, blue screens, and learn not to rely for a full hour of being "connected." In today's society, we build up so many expectations of how we should look, or what it is that we are always missing out on - FOMO navigates its way all around us through social media and constantly clutter of updates in our email inboxes. The reality is, meditation is a simple practice - done daily and recognized habitually, like eating, grooming, cleaning up, journalling, etc.

There is a wide misconception that while witnessing others meditate, you must also be able to
attain this peaceful state, an exit from the mind's frivolities and extremities into this more
blissful realm that is often quite difficult to attain. The reality is you are creating your own distraction from really entering that state based on your own positioning. Meditation as a group activity is often overlooked as an event to rehearse expected outcomes with your fellow participants - this is not the caseA few things to consider here:

  • How willing are you able to open?
  • How susceptible are you in tuning out the other sensory stimulations around you?
  • How connected do you feel to a higher source of energy, inspiration, Spirit, divine Creator?
Different things appear to each person according to his disposition. People have different dispositions, different talents, different potentials, so to everybody they are going to happen in a different way. They are just to indicate that things like this happen - It is an experience. When you drink water, only you know whether it is cold or warm.
And if you are thirsty, only you know whether it is quenching your thirst or creating more. Nobody else sitting outside watching you can know what is happening inside - if the thirst is quenched or made more, if the water is cool or warm - nobody can see from the outside. Even if they can see you meditating, they cannot see what is happening inside.
— OSHO, The Secret of Secrets

Still Interested?

Read more from the following texts: 

A Path With Heart    by Jack Kornfield

A Path With Heart

by Jack Kornfield

The Book of Secrets   by OSHO

The Book of Secrets

by OSHO

The Untethered Soul   by Michael A. Singer

The Untethered Soul

by Michael A. Singer

Attend a meditation workshop or pop-up class at a local yoga studio or through The Quiet Co. and The Meditation Club, that host $5-15 drop-in classes across the downtown core.

Learn to be patient. If you can wait infinitely, it may even happen instantly. But you should not ask that it should happen instantly: if you ask, it may never happen. Your very asking will become a hindrance, Your very desire will create a distance between you and nature. Remain in tune with nature, let nature take its own course. And whenever it comes it is god, and whenever it comes it is fast, WHENEVER it comes...
Your worthiness, your emptiness, your receptivity, your passivity makes it possible; not your hurry, not your haste, not your aggressive attitude. Remember, truth cannot be conquered. One has to surrender to truth, one has to be conquered by truth.
— Osho, The Secret of Secrets