There is a lot of information available on the benefits of meditation to physical and mental health and well being. This video does a great job explaining some of it:
At the London Mindfulness Community we believe that together we can explore the creativity and magic of meditation together in a group, supporting each other in our personal journeys through life.
Check out our meetup group OR facebook group to meet many of the wonderful people in our community:
Below are some thoughts shared by members of the group about why they practice and what that experience has been like for them.
Meditation is very new to me but it has been a wonderful journey thus far. I feel more in touch with myself, my body and my emotions. I have been able to use meditation to ground myself during difficult times and although it is a work in progress, I see alot of hope and promise that incorporating meditation and mindfuless into my daily life could bring a greater sense of inner peace, calm and safety that I long for. – Shannon
Meditation helps me to understand and protect my mental and physical health. After several miserable years as a student, I found myself a shadow of my former self. My mental health had devolved to the point where I signed myself back up for therapy, after leaving almost a year earlier hoping that the effects of a bad situation were transitory. They weren’t and over time I realized that I had numbed my feelings to try to stay in control. The problem with this tactic is that you can’t selectively shut off emotions. Brené Brown puts it more elegantly in her writings, but suffice it to say that you can’t have the good without the bad. I had also done myself a fair bit of emotional and physical violence in attempts to numb myself.
In returning myself to normal emotional function, I found meditation and yoga. I’ve learned that my emotional stability isn’t something that I may ever be able to take for granted again. It probably isn’t something I should have taken for granted in the first place. Meditation helps me to check into myself to see how I feel both physically and mentally. It also gives me the mental space to just exist, and teach myself how to prevent my anxiety from intruding on my focus. It also helps me to feel fully embodied and to listen to the cues my body is giving me about my mental state. It’s a journey, but mindfulness is slowly helping to increase my resilience and help me to see beyond the present to where I want to be in the future. – Fiona
The effects of meditation have been a wild ride. I see it as the process of getting to know oneself. If we really knew ourselves, we would not be surprised by the things we do, our responses, have a sense of being out of control, or only realize long after the fact, what really motivated us to do this, or that. It is because we don’t know ourselves that these things happen. And since the whole of life is mediated through “myself” it seems pretty important of a thing to get a handle on. Meditation brings to my awareness whatever is the case – it reveals to me things about my inner and outer life that I avoid or delude myself about without meditation. It also brings life to life for me…the simple, small things appear more vibrant and interesting. I do not feel the need to do “exciting” things in order to feel fully alive when I am meditating. The practice gives me the sense that everything I turn my attention to unfolds itself to me if I only give it a bit of time. When I am not meditating, life appears to me at a distance, separate, and resistant (maybe it’s me that’s at those moments, distant, separate, and resistant?)
Meditation is teaching me how to recognize my thoughts and feelings at their outset, let them happen, and about my tendency to make a problem out of my feelings- “Why am I feeling this way, I shouldn’t be feeling this way” – the thoughts are making the feeling a problem in this example. It is also about coming to terms with a history of negative thoughts and states- calling myself out on them, but recognizing that this needs to be done in a gentle way, otherwise it feeds them.
A deeper practice also allows me to explore the expectations behind my thoughts and feelings- what is pushing me to view them as a problem? as oppose to seeing them for what they are – just feelings and thoughts, which are impermanent, and not some integral part of me.
Which brings me to my humanity – meditation helps me understand the complexity of myself and others as humans by breaking it (being human) down into different components of experience- feelings, sensations, thoughts, memories, relationships, pain, relief, anger, love, tension. ETC. – Emily
If you’d like to add your thoughts, and experiences, we’d appreciate hearing them.