We’re not all natural born meditators. In fact, a lot of people really struggle with meditation, and it’s not something I’ve seen widely talked about.
While meditation is amazing and carries numerous benefits, getting to the point where you feel as though you can do it “effectively” can be difficult.
Also, I feel there’s a common stereotype attached to meditation, that your mind must be “empty” for it to “work”. This isn’t the case at all. Meditation is the act of being at rest with everything simply as it is. This allows us to feel more relaxed and able to deal with life, creating less stress and more compassion towards others and ourselves.
Even knowing the above is helpful for new meditators, since they no longer have to “try” to empty their minds of thoughts. You simply sit or lay down and relax, and concentrate on the sensations in your body, the sounds you can hear, allowing thoughts to come and go as they please, without engaging with them.
In this day and age, there are quite a few technological solutions that can make meditation easier. Perhaps this is the most accessible way for people to learn meditation in 2017, since we’re all so used to tech in general.
A personal favourite piece of tech for meditation is the app “Headspace”. Headspace starts users of with a ten day free trial (or it used to!), using a program called “Take Ten”.
The idea is that you take ten minutes out of your day to follow guided meditation instructions. It uses a “mindfulness meditation” approach, meaning that you connect with your senses more, which is a vital component for feeling grounded and stable in life.
In the free trial you get one video per day, which can be re-listened to again in the same day or after the ten days are up. I believe the “take ten” program is always free for free users.
The instructions are great for beginners, and the beauty of using guided meditations is that once you’re familiar with them, you can use the teachings on your own, without needing guidance.
There’s a variety of apps and similar solutions available for guided meditations. You can even use YouTube for this kind of content, there’s thousands of free guided meditation videos on YouTube. Though I warn you that some of it can get spiritual, and as you may know I’m not an advocate for that kind of stuff.
I prefer the mindfulness meditation practices, since they’re rooted in scientific evidence showing the difference in brain activity, reduced stress and anxiety, and an improvement in focus.
Now, if you want to take tech further with meditation there are “smart devices” available that can record your brain activity whilst meditating! I know, this is some space age sh** right here…
Devices such as the “MUSE” for example. The MUSE is a wearable headband that rests on your temples as you meditate. You connect the device to your smartphone wirelessly and it records your brain activity during the session. The data it gives you will tell you what state you entered during your practice, and how effective the methods are that you’re using.
Solutions like the MUSE are useful for testing to see which meditation techniques work best for you and your health. While this kind of thing is by no means essential, it can be useful for those who take meditation seriously.
Wrapping things up…
Overall, these technological solutions can be very useful for those looking to get into meditation. They can also be of use for those who find meditation difficult, and want to be guided by something that’s proven to work.
As I stated earlier, there are common misconceptions held towards meditation. It doesn’t have to be a spiritual practice, and you also shouldn’t feel as though you have to exert any effort to make it work for you. In fact quite the opposite, meditation is about “letting go” and “acceptance” of reality.
Following guided meditations such as the solutions on offer via Headspace will help you get the right idea. It’s really very simple, but the industry surrounding meditation has been infested with information making it seem like some “holy technique” that’s difficult to make use of.
You can make meditations out of any activity you wish, though it should never stress you out in any way. Using technology can assist you with learning meditation properly. Once you feel comfortable, you can let go of the tech and do it all by yourself.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post, remember to “like”, “share” and “comment” below as I always love hearing your thoughts!