I've always been interested in meditation. Having grown up in a South Asian home during a time where getting 'Indian' groceries meant driving all the way to Gerrard Street in Toronto for fresh mangoes, I also had the incredible experience of learning about Eastern medicine, spirituality and culture (an education I wouldn't receive in public school).
As a kid, I remember watching my Grandfather silently practice yoga with 30 minute headstands, or watching my Grandmother cook traditional foods, listening to my family gather to sing and read traditional poetry, or even enjoying freshly picked mint from a loved one's garden...there was method to each practice. They were being mindful.
As a teenager and young adult, I would watch my Mom stand before her special spot at home and light a diya (homemade cotton wick and ghee in a small clay pot). She would meditate and send out good wishes in silence. My aunt told me about Vipasana (a silent retreat) that she attended for one week where everyone just meditates in silence.
Meditation was everywhere, and people who influenced me were making it a part of their daily life. And science began to back up the theories. Researchers began to study the effects on the brain through neuroscience. Doctors began stating that stress is a leading cause of heart disease, cancer and pretty much every other ailment.
There's nothing wrong with meditation apps (I've used many), but many people didn't need them. They didn't have to set a timer on their phones. They just focused on fulfilling their intention of creating or completing something with purpose, and they did it as perfectly as possible. Full attention, limited distractions (and definitely didn't take pictures on their phone to document it).
We spend a lot of time in our daily life multi-tasking. I wonder how much more productive and creative we would be without technology distracting us. We need to find more time to rest our minds and reset. I know I do.
When do you feel the most focussed in the day? Have you wanted to try meditation? If so, try this exercise to help you get started:
So, open a window and listen to the breeze, put on some of your favourite music. Do something that requires all your attention and helps you to slow down. Whether baking, reading, knitting, crafting, gardening, running, yoga, traditional meditation, singing, cycling. Something that gets you away from stressful work or screens.
Just focus, take a deep breath and enjoy that moment of zen.