Finding Peace Through Meditation

Dana Lark

Meditation comes with a hefty list of benefits, including stress reduction, lower anxiety, improved focus and has most recently been proven to help evoke empathy.

For some, just the mention of the word “meditation” carries a calming effect. Who doesn’t need more calm or more mental and emotional presence in the intricacies of a human experience?

Here’s the quick and dirty: meditation is not easy. If it were, everyone would do it.

In the beginning, it’s uncommon to experience the presumed “ah-ha moment.” A wise woman once told me that the fruits of meditation don’t come during the act of meditating. They unfold during normal day-to-day interactions after cultivating a disciplined and consistent practice.

Meditation practices typically include three things that can be tough:

Sitting still: It’s an art that most of us struggle with. We fidget, pick and pluck at anything within an arm’s reach.

Surrender to the present moment: Our minds shift and search helplessly for any moment except the one we’re in. Maybe we think about the past or dread the future. Perhaps you swap out dread for anticipation or excitement. Either way, you’re missing an opportunity to experience the ~now~.

Bringing awareness to the breath: It slips in and out with little to no attention as it powers our bodies and connects us with the rich, vibrant, living and breathing world.

The chances of success at experiencing the bountiful byproducts of meditation can be largely increased from simply understanding the obstacles that presently exist in our own minds.

If meditation has piqued your curiosity and you’re interested in making a go of it, you’re probably not surprised to find out there exists a long list of resources to aid in your journey. There’s almost too many. Let me help narrow that down a bit.

If you appreciate the good old-fashioned book-in-hand method, Lordro Rinzler’s Sit Like A Buddha is a plain-English, straightforward-while-hilarious little gem that I personally owe the most peace-filled few months of my life to. I highly recommend it as a first read for anyone interested in developing a meditation practice of their own.

If the accessibility and functionality of an app is your thing, then check out either Calm or Headspace. Both won Editor’s Choice awards from the App Store and Calm won Apple’s 2017 App of the Year. Fancy!

And if all of that is just too much for you, I present to you the old tried and true. A timer.

Best of luck to you on your meditation journey! May 2018 be our most peaceful year yet.