Don't just do something, sit there

Now seems like a pretty good time to start meditating, right? Damn right! There’s evidence that it reduces stress, improves sleep and increases happiness. If nothing else, it might take up some time that you might otherwise spend staring at the wall or wondering whether your cat would like a haircut.

There are loads of resources around to help you do learn to meditate. Here are just a few.

In all likelihood, you’ve already heard of Headspace. Andy Puddicombe and his the team at Headspace have been at the forefront of mindfulness science and accessibility for about a decade. There are free meditations on their website (and in app), AND they’re making more of their content free during the Covid-19 business. There’s also a funkton of information about the science behind meditation on their website.

Insight Timer is free! Hooray for free! Tons of meditations, calming groovy music, podcasts and the odd lecture on meditation from all sorts of different traditions. Hundreds of different teachers, so you can find the one that’s right for you.

Calm is an enormous resource for meditation, sleep and relaxation. To be completely honest, I don’t know it that well, but it has a 7 day free trial, which I’ll look into and report back on. And can 50,000,000 downloads really be wrong, Michael?

You’ll find all of these on the relevant app store, if you have a phone, or via the links above.

A big recommendation from me would be the Sitting Buddha book by Rev. Master Daishin Morgan of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. He writes specifically about Soto Zen meditation, but I heartily point you at it for general instruction on getting your meditate on. You can download it, FOR FREE, here:

If none of these things are your bag, just taking some time to sit quietly anytime and anywhere is likely to help your brain.

Ideally your hips will be higher than your knees, to help make sure you don’t slump.

Just sit upright, partially or fully close your eyes, and just check in with where you’re at – how your body is feeling, what thoughts are arising (let them pass), and count your breaths to help focus.

Looking after your brain unit is massively important when we’re not living through batshit times, so even more so now.

Take care.


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