Sept. 30, 2017

Why I meditate

The benefits and a brief indstruction on meditation.

I’ve been exposed to meditation practises ever since I was young. Funnily enough, it started when I took Taekwondo as a kid (like all Korean boys). The session began and ended with meditation. Ever since then, I’ve learnt more about meditation through books, my time in Nepal, meditation day retreat, talks, and through smartphone apps.

Meditation helps you pause your life momentary, calm down your hyperactive mind, reset and start again. Meditation is an a valuable skill and habit that you can learn to develop in this complex life we live. Contrary to people’s belief, it does not take up much time at all. You can meditate as short as 2 minutes and you’llnotice the difference. Whenever I meditate for 5 minutes, it feels like I’ve been meditating forever. Time passes very differently when your meditating in comparison to when you’re consuming social media feed for 5 minutes.

These are some examples and situations when I meditate.

When I moved house, I was very tired after moving all my belonging. I was also feeling disappointed because I saw how much not of a minimalist I was. That night I slept on a mattress on the floor surrounded by all my crap. The next day, I woke up and I felt overwhelmed by the thought of organising everything. I decided to do a lengthy guided meditation before I did anything. This gave me some calm and energy before I tackled reorganising of my new place.

During lunch time, I usually go outside to Botanical gardens (which is right next to my workplace), put on my earphones and meditate for 15 mins. This helps me clarify what I need to do and focus on my activities.

When I notice myself angry at someone and begin wallowing in negativity, and being unable to let it go, I meditate. It helps me take a step back and reassess the situation.

How to start meditating

  • Find a space where nobody will disturb you. This is very important because you don’t want to be disturbed when you’re meditating.
  • Sit comfortably whether it be in your chair or on the floor and set up a timer (I usually like to meditate for 5 minutes)
  • Close your eyes
  • Count your breath from 1 to 10 and back down from 10 to 1 until the alarm sounds
  • Let your thoughts pass like clouds. Do not engage them but only observe them from a distance.

It sounds very easy, but trust me it’s incredibly difficult to just count your breath when your mind is thinking of everything else. But even if you don’t do it well, the important thing is not to beat yourself up about it but instead be grateful that you had the opportunity to meditate and just notice how much calmer you are.

Instead of meditating by yourself, you can find great apps such as “Insight Timer” which contains many guided meditations. Although it’s tempting to purchase subscription to the nicely designed Headspace app which costs approx $100 per year, I don’t think it’s worth it unless you’re 100% sure you’ll be using it every day. Just start off with the free ones and see how you like it.

Action you can take

  • Download Insight Timer on your smartphone
  • Schedule in a time to meditate and just try and notice how you feel.

## The photo was taken in Royal Botanic Gardens, where I usually meditate during lunch.

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