What is Meditation?
Meditation is a way to transform the mind through the practice of paying deliberate attention.
With its deep roots in Buddhism, meditation is frequently mischaracterized as too “woo-woo” for the average Joe. Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier, lays it out nicely for a skeptical audience:
Despite what you may have heard, meditation does not involve joining a group, paying any fees, wearing any special outfits, sitting in a funny position, or believing in anything in particular.
It is a simple, secular, scientifically validated exercise for your brain.
What does Meditation do?
Meditation builds awareness of your thoughts, emotions/feelings, and bodily sensations. It does this through consistent training.
Let’s take mindfulness meditation for example. In this practice, you give your mind a specific job to do (e.g. focusing on the sensations of your breath.) This pulls your mind out of it’s habitual state of constant processing in order to connect with the present moment.
Awareness is arguably the most important element of mindfulness.
Developing your awareness leads to improvements in many aspects of life, including focus, decision-making, patience, and stress-reduction.