A few years back I took a ten week course in Positive Psychology taught by Tim LeBon.
This most recent branch of psychology (founded by Martin Seligman in 1998), studies the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
Over the ten weeks we covered topics such as happiness and positive emotions, flourishing, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment, strength, resilience, savouring, wisdom, mindfulness and meditation.
For the first time in my life I was challenged to meditate. For a whole week I had to dedicate 15 minutes of my time to doing nothing. Thinking about nothing and focusing on nothing but my breath. For anyone with an overactive, highly obsessive and slightly neurotic mind (which is probably most of us!), this sounds a lot easier than it is.
That said, I survived the challenge and noticed such an impact on my mind (outside of the meditation zone), I have since made a conscious effort to practise mindfulness mediation at least five times a week.
I can honestly say it’s something I will do for the rest of my life. Meditation has helped me through times of hardship providing an inner sanctum away from suffering. It has made me feel more centred and in control of my thoughts and has taught me to respond rather than react to external stimulants. It has boosted my self-esteem and deepened my spirituality. I have grown as a person and I can’t recommend it enough.
The guidance of the wonderful teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn with his soothing tones and encouraging words certainly helped reaffirm my commitment during early practises. He has three series of Mindfulness Meditation albums (available on iTunes) and offers a comforting start line for any beginners.
If you want to try a taster session with Jon, you can watch this video of him giving a meditation lesson to a class of professionals at Google. Just be warned, meditation will change your life!