Before we get into the “how and why” lets first define meditation and mindfulness. There are hundreds of definitions but my favorite comes from author and teacher Sarah McLean:
is a word used to describe the many techniques and practices, both modern and ancient that settle your nervous system and train your brain to be more focused, engaged and less reactive.
is engaging your attention in the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude: letting your mind be full with the experience in the here and now.
I find it essential to think about both practices together. Each time you sit to meditate you can have a new experience, sometimes it may seem great, sometimes not so great; but the experience cannot be judged. What you will observe are the effects of your meditation session on your daily life. Do you feel energized, more focused, a little calmer or perhaps as Dan Harris titled his book “10% Happier”. I can guarantee the answer will be yes.
To become more open and less analytical about your practice, we start each session with mindfulness. Each moment of every day is brand new and you never know how you will feel, so if you approach each and every meditation session as though you are a beginner, you will find it much easier to stay present in the practice and experience its effects.
Meditation is actually a natural state and can be practiced by anyone; it does not require any special forms of concentration. All it takes is commitment, focus and proper guidance to get you on your way! Meditation is a personal experience that cannot be compared to another’s experience. It only takes 5 minutes a day to start a lifetime of benefits.