Things worth learning: meditation



What

“Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Scholars have found meditation elusive to define, as practices vary both between traditions and within them.” (Wikipedia)

Why

As the Wikipedia definition says, a person can meditate in order “to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state”.

My work can be very intellectually stimulating, and requires many different kinds of thinking to do well. Sometimes it’s difficult to calm my mind at the end of the day. I’ve found that meditation helps me do that. When things get really intense it also helps to pause and re-focus.

How

There are many different meditation techniques. I prefer vipassana-meditation, as described in the book Mindfulness in Plain English. Joseph Goldstein’s books are also good, such as Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening.

It took me a while to find a technique that works for me. The important thing is to try them and practice, rather than holding out for the perfect system.