When questioned, 100% of people the people I meet say they want to be calm, peaceful and experience love more than anything else on this earth.
Yet also when questioned, about 90% of those people say that the time they allocate to actively being peaceful and calm is less than 10 minutes a day, if any time at all.
We live in a culture that values doing, over being and outward achievement over inner mastery.
We glorify busy, encourage materialism and praise martyrdom.
Success in this world, is measured in status, income, property size, job title, health, relationship status and "doing, being and having it all".
It is an exhausting paradigm that few can live up to - making everyone else feel like a failure.
But how to change this?
The simple practice of meditation holds huge benefits in helping us to live our lives, rather than live up to the ideals of others.
By sitting quietly and applying meditation techniques for just 10 minutes a day, we can start to turn the tide on our stressors, and instead enjoy more peace and serenity.
Meditation is all about finding your true self.
This true self is peaceful and calm, open, confident and serene.
It is the silence in which sound exists.
The stillness in which movement happens.
The space in which physical life resides.
Connecting to this serene aspect of ourselves is deeply resting. This is because we are made up of both stillness and movement, space and matter, silence and sound.
Therefore focusing on our still, silent, spaciousness brings us back into balance.
When questioned where do people put most the focus of their day, many say their focus is almost entirely on the content of their life: their thoughts, feelings, emotions, jobs, family, community, relationships, body and finances. Let's contrast this with a maximum of 10 minutes spent being aware of the "their true-self" behind all the doing, and it's understandable why we are stressed - as people, we have become very unbalanced!
Breaking the habit
Meditation helps us to break the habit of doing all the time. When we meditate, we are actively choosing to let go of outer commitments and demands in favour committing to inner exploration and discovery. We are becoming more interested in our inner silence than the outer noise so we might be better poised to deal with the realities of our day from a place of being centred and grounded.
It means we can be sat meditating and whilst we might hear sounds, we're more interested in the silence those sounds are existing in.
In doing so we find calm amidst the natural chaos of our life.
Long lasting results
The great thing about meditation is, it's impacts are felt well beyond the 10 minutes spent prioritising it.
Doing meditation is like going to the gym, it builds an inner connection that you can access later as you go about your day.
We can be in the middle of a crisis and be calm
We can have relationship difficulties and be peaceful
We can be unsure of our next steps and be confident
We can have health issues and feel well
We can be alone and feel connected
We can have a lot on our plate and know it will get done
Others can say what they like about us and we don't care
What would normally feel impossible becomes possible.
There is no limit to how much meditation you can do, though logic says it needs to be enough to bring about balance if you're looking for optimal performance.
Beginners are encouraged to find a meditation approach that works for them and practice it daily. The best results come from a morning, lunchtime and evening practice of at least 3 x 10 minutes a day. I also recommend you invest at least a month in making it a daily practice to give yourself a fair chance at discovering what benefits meditation brings. Those that do rarely give up having a daily practice after, and instead fit their day around their meditation rather than their meditation around their day.
Want help getting the most out of your meditation practice? Check out my Monday Night Meditation Group for a social meditation opportunity from the comfort of your home. Join with other like-minded meditators from all kinds of backgrounds to experience the calm amidst the chaos and start your week feeling peaceful and well.