I recently participated in a group meditation on the campus where I work. It was held during Midterms for faculty, staff and students to help with stress management. One of the participants is writing an article for the campus newspaper and asked me a few questions about my personal meditation practice. Enjoy!
How and when did you become involved in the practice of meditation, and how often do you practice?
I started meditating about 2 years ago during a particularly stressful time in my life and it really helped. I try to meditate daily for at least 10 minutes. Mediating wasn’t easy when I first started, and some days it’s still hard. Sometimes I get in 5 minutes and other times I get in 20, but even that 5 minutes helps. I love meditating outside, so I keep a blanket and a cushion in the backseat of my car so I can just drive to the park and be ready to go. In the winter, it’s harder to practice inside, but I just have to try and take 5 minutes in my house on a winter morning or evening.
What positive results have been an outcome of your practice?
I sometimes compare meditation to going to the gym and working out. You feel the results of working out when you take the stairs and aren’t as winded. You feel the benefits of meditation when faced with daily problems, stress and anxiety. It’s not that they go away or don’t exist, but your reaction to them improves. Mediation strengthens your mindfulness muscle.
Do you think mediation should be introduced to schools, or is it better left as a personal journey?
I don’t think it would hurt to introduce it in schools. Just like many things taught in school, it may not be for everyone, but it could help someone too.
What other activities do you partake in to reduce stress?
I walk, dance, listen to music, read, paint, write, take baths, call friends, Reiki, drink tea, talk therapy, and freak out my two cats by singing to music.