Editor at Castle Craig addiction rehab clinic
Meditation is a word that fills me with a sense of boredom. The word reminds me of sincere couples sitting cross-legged on the floor of a Buddhist monastery, of calm, well-travelled middle class people who have a bookshelf full of profound volumes on the subject. These people give off a sense of calm that can come across as a bit staid.
Don’t get me wrong, I think meditation is great — it’s the best tool for dealing with the pressures of 21st century life — but the people I associate with these activities, and the organizations that serve this growing market of self-aware souls, all strike me as rather boring. This is my prejudice, my hangup, my problem, but I can’t help thinking that most people share my disdain, and this might explain why meditation and mindfulness (a modern version of the same thing) are only practiced on the fringes of society.
People say that I look younger than my age (48) and I put this down to the fact that I have incorporated into my life a few simple meditation practices that are remarkably effective at defusing (as in defusing a bomb) all the stress, worry and pressure that can so easily become overwhelming. The key meditation skill is “letting go” — the act of visualizing every thought (and worry, anxiety, fear) as it comes into your fevered brain, and then letting it float away. If you can do this when meditating (which you can do in a chair; the lotus position is not obligatory) you have a simple way of sluicing out the stress from your system. I visualize ideas as soap bubbles that rise out of the top of my head, look pretty for a few moments, and then pop.
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