Do you also worry about the what-ifs, the could-have-beens, and what will happen next?
With our hectic schedules causing us stress and anxiety, we try and do everything we can to cope. Among the most effective is meditation.
Ever heard of the saying, “What we think is what we become”? What do you think about when you meditate?
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are explains how you can enjoy the present without being anxious about the future or the past.
You will also find similar publications on Blinkist, a book summary platform that features hundreds of related books.
- What Is Meditation?
- What Do You Think About When You Meditate?
- How Do You Meditate?
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Book Summary
- Learn More About Mindfulness Meditation on Blinkist
- What’s on Your Mind During Meditation?
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is an exercise that teaches your mind attention and awareness.
It is a cultural practice, globally observed for many years for religious purposes.
These days, though, many people do it independently for personal reasons.
Apart from this, meditation is now part of therapeutic techniques used in the medical field in treating mental and physical issues.
What Is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is just one of many types of mental training practices teaching you how to be calm and to let go of negativity.
It also teaches you how to focus on the present and acknowledge your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
Techniques may vary in mindful meditation. Apart from deep breathing, you must also have a judgment-free mindset.
With regular practice, you will notice positive changes in your mind and body.
People meditate to relax their minds and calm their senses, especially on a stressful day.
It can also help in the management of certain medical conditions.
Through meditation, people learn to look at everyday stresses and conflicts from a different perspective.
Some learn to be more creative and imaginative, while others become more patient and tolerant of difficult people and situations.
What Do You Think About When You Meditate?
There are misconceptions about meditation that your mind must be clear of any lingering thoughts.
Others think you can switch your mind off and focus on something else to remove stress and anxiety.
So, what should you do to achieve a meditative state before, during, and after meditation?
Here are some tips for you to try.
All of us have seen how an active child behaves. You cannot expect a kid to stop and stay still at your command.
Similarly, that is how our mind works as we try to meditate.
You can’t just command yourself to go into a meditative state in a snap. You have to calm it down before starting your meditation rituals.
Take a few minutes to unwind, allowing your mind to transition into a calm state.
Now, we go to the real deal. Remember that your mind has no off button; you cannot force it to stop functioning.
Most of the time, people new to meditation think they fail when they cannot stop their minds from thinking wayward thoughts.
As it is, different types of meditations teach you how to familiarize yourself with your thoughts and how to acknowledge them.
First and foremost, this practice would instruct you to focus on your breathing.
If you get distracted with a thought, you can simply go back to your breathing and start over.
You are also reminded to let your inner voice speak gently to yourself while meditating, as it will remain even after your meditation.
Similar to what you did before you start your meditation practice, gently transition your mind to your usual pace.
Allow your mind to stay in the calm state you are in during meditation as you slowly shift out of the meditative state.
This way, you are giving your mind a clear space to entertain anything calmly.
How Do You Meditate?
You will often hear this question from first-time meditators.
Meditation teachers will instruct you to sit in silence with your thoughts and feelings.
As humans, your mind will resist the instructions and do the exact opposite, and that’s okay.
Meditation takes practice.
Whatever meditation type you choose to do, there are certain things that they commonly observe.
1. Pick the Right Time and Place
If you want to start your meditation journey, you have to choose a specific place and time to do it and commit to it.
Choose a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed and interrupted as you practice your meditation technique.
You will need lots of discipline and perseverance to make it a habit.
2. Know What To Wear
You can wear anything you like as long as you are comfortable and relaxed.
Tight-fitting clothes and uncomfortable footwear may affect your concentration, though.
3. Learn How To Sit
People often relate meditation to someone sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed and the hands resting on their knees.
You don’t have to follow this stereotypical image.
Just find your most comfortable sitting position in the correct posture and with relaxed hands resting on your knees or lap.
There’s no specific duration required to meditate, but make sure that you do it often.
The recommended period for beginners is 10 minutes, though some only do so for five.
You can gradually increase the duration as you get accustomed to the practice.
5. Be Clear With Your Motive
Every individual has different reasons for doing what they do, and the same goes for meditation.
Before you start your meditation journey, be clear with your reasons. Doing so will help ensure that you stick with the practice.
Your clear intentions will serve as your motivating factor to commit to the habit and follow through with your plan.
6. Take It One Day at a Time
Meditation is a journey requiring your patience, commitment, and practice.
Do not expect to feel instant gratification after just one session.
The benefits will gradually come as you learn the skill through constant practice. Over time, you will feel less distracted and have enhanced awareness.
7. Stay Mindful After Meditation
People meditate to become more aware and less distracted as they go through their day.
After every meditation practice, make sure that you are fully aware of your state of mind and make an effort to maintain it throughout the day.
8. Body Scan Technique
The body scan technique is highly recommended for beginners. It’s a routine where you try to detect physical sensations in your body.
To do this, close your eyes and mentally scan your body.
As you do, take note of which parts are relaxed or tensed, light or heavy, and so on.
Make sure that you spend at least 20 seconds on every scan.
If ever you get distracted, just go back to the last body part you were checking.
Practicing this technique allows you to familiarize yourself with how you feel and what you are thinking.
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Book Summary
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are is a combined self-help and meditation book.
Here, you’ll learn that meditation helps you be mindful of your situation and adjust to your present situation.
As you continue to practice the technique, you also start to see everything as they are.
With this book, Jon Kabat-Zinn aims to help those who don’t like traditional practices but are interested in practicing mindfulness.
He observed that many people live their lives without living in the moment. Hence, his desire for people to practice mindfulness.
Basically, the book offers an easy-to-follow flexible program for anyone who wants to test the waters without following strict formats.
Adding mindfulness practice to your daily routine is made easy by the author’s short but meaningful anecdotes and helpful suggestions.
There are also guidelines and techniques reminding people to choose the methods that work for them and leave the others out.
There are various meditation techniques that you can try, as there is no wrong or right way to do it.
What may work for others may not be suitable for you, and there may even be roadblocks as you meditate.
But through constant practice, you can use these barriers as useful tools to enhance your awareness.
The book also offers ways to practice meditation, whether formal and informal, to promote mindfulness.
Although living a mindful life is not easy, the author stresses that it will allow you to experience life at the moment.
Learn More About Mindfulness Meditation on Blinkist
You will find a comprehensive summary of the book Wherever You Go, There You Are in Blinkist.
Choose between text and audio summaries to get the book’s key ideas before you decide on reading the whole thing.
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Shortcasts provide key insights through podcasts. Blinks are 15-minute text summaries, while Expert Curation offers recommendations handpicked based on your interests.
Blinkist offers a seven-day free trial for those who want to explore the platform with all its non-fiction book offerings.
What’s on Your Mind During Meditation?
So, what do you think about when you meditate?
People have the wrong idea that you have to clear your mind of any thought to reach a meditative state.
In Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are, you’ll learn that you will experience roadblocks as you start practicing meditation.
You can check his book on Blinkist to know more about what he has to say about mindfulness and meditation.