How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
Benefits of Mindfulness: Mindful Living Can Change Your Life
Mindfulness 101: A Beginner's Guide
Is meditation enough to find real peace? Vidyamala shares some some important lessons.
Hi, it's Vidyamala here.
And I've been asked to answer
the question, is meditation
enough to cultivate inner peace?
I think this is such a great question.
And one that I've pondered
on for many, many years.
I first learned to
meditate way back in 1985.
And for many years, I did assume
that meditation on its own would
be enough to cultivate inner peace.
After all, the great wisdom traditions
say that everything is preceded by mind
and led by mind and that the quality
of our mind is the most important thing
if we want to experience inner peace.
Now that is true, I certainly agree with
that, but what I've come to see is that I
need to look at the quality of my mind in
my whole life, not just when I meditate.
What I used to do actually for about 10
years, I'm rather ashamed to say, is I'd
have my meditation in the morning, maybe
20 minutes, 40 minutes an hour even.
And I've finished my meditation with
the intention, today's the day when
I'm going to manage my activities,
I'm not going to get stressed, I'm
not going to get distracted, I'm
going to do one thing at a time.
I'm going to be Mrs.
And then usually within about, oh
gosh, half an hour, an hour, I'd just
be scatty doing lots of things at
once, pushing myself, driving myself
and essentially losing the plot.
I'd get to the end of the day,
exhausted, flopped on my bed
thinking, Oh no, I've blown it again.
Tomorrow's another day.
Tomorrow I'm going to manage to
be mindful through my whole day.
And then of course, the next day
I would do exactly the same thing.
So day after day, I'd have all these good
intentions and day after day, I'd blow it.
And I couldn't really get away with
that because I live with chronic
pain following quite severe spinal
injuries when I was a teenager.
So I've got a disability
and I've got pain.
So the cost was pretty high for me.
And I eventually realized that although
meditation was fantastic and I'm a total
devotee to meditation, what I needed to
do was actually look at my whole life.
How could I take awareness practice
off the cushion out of my meditation
practice so it perfumes my whole day?
And in fact, I intuited that will probably
be more transformative than just having
a meditation practice each morning.
After about 10 years of this kind of
meditation, you know, just the morning
meditation and then blowing it during
the day, I had a bit of a crisis.
My back got worse.
And I had to really ask myself, what
is it that I haven't understood?
I've been meditating for 10 years
and yet I'm back in another crisis.
So clearly I haven't quite
got the full message.
And what I reflected on is
there were two things really.
One is that I hadn't figured out how
to take my practice into my daily life.
And I'll say more about that in a moment.
And the other thing is I realized
that in my meditation, I'd got
quite good at being escapist.
So rather than being with my experience
and transforming my relationship to
my actual experience, I was using my
meditation to avoid my experience.
By fantasizing, even
daydreaming, that kind of thing.
My meditation had been effective,
but there'd always been a
kind of tension around it.
And once I really faced up to that,
I thought, well, no wonder, because
I'm putting all this effort into
avoiding my direct experience rather
than learning how to be with it with
tenderness and kindness and care.
So I decided to really, uh, take
these two areas on as it were.
I started changing the way I meditated.
So rather than using it to escape and
to avoid, I started using it to come
closer to what's actually happening.
I became much more embodied,
much more in my breathing.
All my teaching now is based on what I
learned by moving away from escapism and
moving into, I suppose what you call,
a much more strength-based practice.
Learning how to be with my
experience, with courage,
with fearlessness, with love.
And then as I said, the other thing was,
uh, looking at my daily life behavior.
One of the things I had to face up to is
that I had a tendency to live in, what's
called, the boom and bust patterns.
And what that means is when you
feel good, you do loads of things.
You really go for it.
You do all the housework, you do
all your emails, you go shopping.
You know, really sort of, think, right.
I feel good today, I'm going
to do as much as I can.
And then of course you have a crash.
And the technical term for that is bust.
It's quite interesting.
In, uh, pain management circles, fatigue
circles, longterm health condition
circles, they do actually call it boom
and bust because it's very descriptive.
And in all people that I've taught,
it seems that many of us live with
boom and bust, whether were, um,
living with a health condition or
just living in a normal, busy life.
So, what happens is you might have moments
of inner peace, but essentially you're
just like a hamster in a wheel, going
round and round and round, booming and
then crushing, booming and then crushing.
And really it's pretty unsatisfactory
way to live, pretty horrible way to live.
So what I developed was
something called pacing.
And that was learning to bring much
more balance to my daily activities.
Yes, the meditation was really, really
important for refining my awareness, for
finding my mind, training my mind, but
then I had to bring in much more clarity
in terms of my behaviors during the day.
So for example, now, if I'm working
on the computer, I'll use a timer.
After 25 minutes, timer will
go off, I'll have a break.
That's how I'm approaching
doing these recordings this
week, I'm taking regular breaks.
I also learned that I had to
kind of operate across a broad
front in terms of transformation.
And that meant looking at my diet, making
sure that I eat as healthfully as I can.
And that doesn't mean any
special diet necessarily, but
just having three meals a day.
Keeping myself well nourished.
I had to look at exercise.
Making sure that I was keeping my body
as fit as possible, as flexible as
possible and as strong as possible.
Because of my disability, you
know, I'm not running marathons or
anything like that, but doing what
I can to work with what I've got in
terms of my mobility and fitness.
And that's also been very important.
I've had to look at my
attitudes towards sleep.
Developing sleep hygiene, which means
going to bed at roughly the same time
every day, turning off digital devices a
good period of time before you go to bed,
not having the computer in the bedroom.
You know, some of these basic things that
are now pretty much common knowledge.
That's important because sleep is
so precious and many of us have got
quite poor habits of sleep hygiene.
That meant attending to the quality
of my friendships and relationships.
Making sure that I value
those and I prioritize those.
We're social creatures and
we're designed for connection.
So that's another aspect of wellbeing.
And of course, all of these areas
are underpinned by awareness.
It's pretty much impossible to
really work on your behavior and
daily life if you're not aware.
So I see it as, as awareness is like
the keystone of the great building or
the great cathedral of lifestyle change.
And then there's healthy eating,
exercise, relationships, and sleep.
Dean Ornish, who's quite a famous
doctor in mind-body medicine.
He says it very simply, "Eat well,
love more, stress less, move more."
That's so good, isn't it?
Eat well, love more,
stress less, move more.
And I think if we are really serious
about cultivating inner peace as a moment
by moment experience, a moment by moment
taste of something that's more open, maybe
a little bit softer around the edges,
less jagged, a little bit more present,
then meditation is absolutely essential
because it's our awareness training, but
then we need to look at our whole life.
Eat well, love more, stress
less, move more, and also pace.
And I would recommend that you consider
using a timer to break up your activities.
So thanks so much for listening to this
talk today and being alongside me as we
all try to figure out how to be fully
human, how to have more inner peace.
And I really hope that you've found these
tips helpful and relevant to your own
life and know that I'm walking beside you.
I'm bringing all these tips into my own
life and I really hope that you will
feel motivated to do the same in your
life and that you will indeed taste
a few more moments of inner peace.
So I really wish you
all the very, very best.
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Just a small sample of the life-changing 5-star reviews we get on a daily basis.
Vidyamala’s tips on catching anger as it’s happening or about to happen are great - clear, practical, and doable.
The little talks before the meditations are priceless. It's like I've found my peeps. The topics, the quotes, the goals—it all makes so much sense to me, things I want to be thinking and learning about. Most importantly, the meditations are kindness-centered, which I love. It feels like a new way to approach meditation.
Incredible, easy to navigate app. I would highly recommend this app to anyone who wishes to reduce stress and anxiety or simply as an aid to improve overall mental health.
I love how the app gives me pointers to new things to explore.
So calm and soothing. I love the new bundle with Kelly Boys, she’s brilliant!
Better than Headspace. I've had the paid version of both apps, and I must say I enjoy this one better.
- Gina, Plus+ Member
I am very new to meditation, and am so happy that my first introduction to it has been through this app
The first session was fantastic. I feel safe. And supported. Almost like having someone helping me through my difficult time. I’m very grateful for this app.
You get a lot of useful tips for handling stress and anxiety in 'real life'.
Kelly Boys is hands down the best. Everytime I click on one of her guided meditations I get excited for the calmness that lies ahead.
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