At our team birthday celebration last week, a few of our facilitators shared how they often come up against friends/acquaintances who are bewildered to hear that they are meditation teachers. Since we are surrounded by meditating suits everyday, it’s easy for us to forget that meditation isn’t as mainstream as it appears to us. It reminded us of the fact that some of our guests even are ‘closet meditators’ who still practice in secret and won’t admit to many that they do.
We can definitely relate. At the time I (Kevin) started meditating, I was working a pretty intense job with long hours and high pressure and whilst on the outside I seemed to be thriving, on the inside it was certainly taking it’s toll on my health. I had violent nightmares several times a week, recurring bouts of glandular fever, and a constant anxious feeling in my chest. It took Nikki two years to convince me to give meditation a go. What got me over the line was when my prospective meditation teacher said: “You don’t need to believe it will work. It’s a simple mechanical process that will work regardless of whether you think it will or not”. She was right – most of my symptoms dissipated within a few weeks of regular meditation (and I was pretty darn skeptical). Yet, despite my success, I didn’t tell anyone in my office I was doing it. I would literally sneak out to my car every afternoon and meditate in hiding for fear of my colleagues thinking I was either a hippy or just plain ‘weak’.
The reality is that society is moving at an exponential rate! We are more time-poor, over-worked, and under-pressure than ever before. Stress caused by financial burdens, relationship troubles, work deadlines, and even traffic jams are having detrimental effects on our health and wellbeing. From cardiovascular disease to insomnia, and headaches to anxiety, let’s face it – it’s just not worth it!
Thousands of scientific studies give rise to meditation as a powerful antidote to stress. It is a simple mind technique which triggers in the body a relaxation response that is the polar opposite of the stress response (fight or flight). What’s more though, the benefits go far beyond just stress reduction – from increased longevity to improved sleep, and enhanced productivity to boosted immunity. Anyone can (and should) meditate. In fact, if the reported effects of meditation could be administered in the form of a pill, no doubt – everyone would be taking it!
So rest assured, the time will come when meditation is as accepted and widespread as exercise (we have a feeling we’re not too far off). If you are reading this newsletter then consider yourself part of the ‘early majority’ and know that you are definitely onto something good! We’d love to hear where you sit with this, so please reply to let us know