From a young age I can remember being curious about the people I saw in pictures meditating and more specifically about meditation practice itself.
I’m not sure where this curiosity sprouted from, maybe it was all the incense and Latin mystery I was exposed to growing up in the Catholic church or maybe it was the art books in the school library that excited something in me as I leafed through block prints from the faraway Japan and China. Whatever sparked this curiosity I was determined to go about learning meditation or at the very least learn more about it.
For a variety of reasons I’ve had many meditation teachers since my curiosity grew from but an ember. My teachers were both men and women which at the time was not the norm, I suspect it’s still not the norm but I haven’t looked into the statistics to find out how large the numbers gulf still is between men and women who teach meditation. I can say that I’m very glad to have learned teachings from both sexes as it opened up many different parts of my experience I would not have had otherwise.
Mediation at first seemed surround in mystery and possibly magic and today I still see books, courses and videos that offer the power and magic to get what you want through meditation. Some of these tie this magic to leadership and innovation seminars and in house team building. But while the universe is a mysterious place meditation is, as Shunryu Suzuki said in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind “something, but nothing special.” It’s a tool that helps us add depth to the Generative Dialogue Process.
If you’re a business owner who has lots of employees depending on your leadership then bringing someone on board to help your management team think differently is one thing, if they are touting magic or promising out of this world innovation without hard work you probably won’t be interested and your employees and share holders hope you’re not. Mystery make for a great novel but doesn’t wow the board, stockholders or your employees at the end of the year.
We suggest learning meditation as a tool within the Dialogue process to help each member of the team become a deeper listener not only of each other but also a deep listener of themselves. It’s this listening between the thoughts and emotions that we find the real magic, the magic of mutual understanding and genuine creative and innovative juice to power your business forward.
10 Simple Ways To Meditate
Further back than I care to admit I once stumbled into a local hall to listen to an introduction lecture about meditation. The small hall was nearly full (25 people) and we sat in those wonderfully uncomfortable metal folding chairs.
The first thing I noticed was the smell of incense burning and a group of men and women sitting on cushions at the front of the room, while my inclination was to escape to the nearest liquor store I instead stayed for the whole presentation.
So, did I ever stick with that group and learn to meditate? The truth is I met someone at the end of the meeting who suggested we visit another group lecture she'd heard about, we went and stayed with that group for about a year and continue to meditate regularly.
I have 3 tips I'd like to share with you about learning meditation.
- Learn and practice meditation either in a group or with just a teacher, trying to learn reading a book or watching a video will deprive you of the richness of experience others have. If you must learn by yourself find an online group you can touch base with regularly.
- Don't be afraid that meditation will require you to give up your religious or social beliefs. If you run into teachings demanding you abandon common sense or traditional beliefs walk away and find another practice. But I must say, in today's climate there are a ton of paths to follow to learn mediation that don't require anything other than practicing the meditation, it won't bite I promise.
- Lastly, let yourself just practice without needing to achieve anything. Meditation evolves best when you just do it and leave the driving to the practice and not your ego.
Cultivating mindfulness is the key to overcoming suffering and recognizing natural wisdom: both our own and others'. How do we go about it? In the Buddhist tradition and in Contemplative Psychotherapy training, we nurture mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation. There are many different kinds of meditation.
NOTE: Mindfulness is now being talked about everywhere it seems, businesses, classrooms and even in the military. To learn it these is no requirement that you change your beliefs or religion, just learn the techniques and go as far as you will.
Mantra meditation is the basis of arguably the most well-known form of meditation in the West, Transcendental Meditation (TM).
NOTE: Don't let their list of Mantra's scare you off, you can use almost any word or phrase in a Mantra Meditation. Words such as peace, love, om, relax, or you can use "one" which in many studies has proven to work as well as any but without ties to a particular belief system.
When I was on my first ever meditation retreat - two weeks of intensive meditation in the Scottish Highlands - I'd sometimes hear the instruction, "And now we'll just sit." No further instruction was given! And we'd sit there for a period of time - maybe ten minutes, maybe thirty minutes.
NOTE: Just sitting sometimes called Shikantaza in Zen is a rather advanced form of mediation even though it may be the simplest of all. Beginners to meditation might want to try something with more structure before jumping into no structure.
With all of the different teachers, schools of thought, and techniques on meditation, it can be overwhelming to just choose one and get started. On the other hand, no matter what your style or preference, with the beauty of information sharing on YouTube, you can probably find a...
NOTE: Guided meditation is just what it sounds like, someone takes you a journey using a combination of words, music and sometimes visual cues. The guided meditation journey can be very enjoyable, relaxing and heart opening.
Learn about the Transcendental Meditation technique for inner peace and wellness. Evidence-based results. Serving men and women at TM® centers worldwide.
NOTE: I took TM more than 20 years ago and found it for me to be a helpful stepping stone to other techniques. It's simple but offers more involvement if you so choose. Many people learn it and integrate the short meditations into their daily life. As with any meditation teaching, in the beginning take what you can use and leave the rest for a later time.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art form often referred to as the practice of "meditation in motion." The gentle, flowing movements in Tai Chi promote relaxation, stress relief and conscious awareness of the present moment. Tai Chi may help reduce stress, depression and anxiety, improve your balance and coordination, lower your...
NOTE: Tai Chi can be a wonderful meditation practice in motion. I've found it is best learned with a teacher or group because others can help with movement and postures that can be hard to see by yourself.
The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice.
Meditation can be challenging. Even after you've had a taste of its benefits and long for those sweet moments of inner calm, clarity, and deep connection, it can be hard to just sit.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Join our mailing list to receive our weekly newsletter from our team.