In recent times, the practice of meditation has permeated American culture. Prominent companies host “mindfulness workshops.” Some schools have replaced detention or other punishments with meditation sessions (a change met with incredible results). It is clear to see that America has taken well to the ancient tradition. But what exactly is meditation?
There is no set definition of meditation, and there is no set way to practice it. Different cultures have practiced different forms and techniques for centuries. What truly characterizes meditation is the action of bringing one’s mind to a standstill, freeing the mind of all worries, and achieving a state of calm and relaxation. While there are many ways to meditate, I enjoy just sitting down, relaxing all the muscles in my body, and calmly imagining an object resting in the center of my torso. I use an imaginary object to focus my mind and temporarily stop the flow of my thoughts. This escape from the constant worries that fill our heads is what makes meditation so effective and beneficial.
The growing popularity of meditation is most likely a result of its unique benefits. It is a completely free and natural method for relaxation that has been proven to bring about positive physical effects on the body. With such positive effects and zero drawbacks, it is unsurprising that masses of people have flocked to meditation as a source of reducing anxiety, destressing, and increasing focus. Anyone who has seriously tried meditation will know that it is a great lifestyle choice. Just a few minutes a day before bed, or in the middle of the day can give someone a chance to really slow things down and take control of the day. A calm mind is a powerful one.
Personally, I meditate to combat many of the stress and frustration that most high school students face. Sometimes I act in ways that are uncharacteristic of myself and I utilize meditation as a way to keep myself calm, focused, and level-headed. It is definitely proven a helpful tool over the years.
My experience with meditation has been a life-changing one, and in an effort to share the benefits of meditation with others, I created a meditation club back in freshman year. The club meets Mondays during unit lunch in the freshman focus room, and it is a very chill environment. For anyone that wants to experience some basic meditation or simply de-stress, the club is open to all, and I welcome you to come join.
Graphics: Anika Tsapatsarsis