Starting a meditation practice is simple but sticking with it is the tricky part. This was true well before meditation apps. Apps such as Headspace are introducing new demographics to meditation, but less than 1 in 10 people stick with Headspace once they begin using it. So what do you do if Headspace isn’t the right fit for you?
I gave Headspace a try, and I liked it. But as I was enjoying the warm voice-over and the cute animations, I wondered if their meditation technique would be effective for a beginner? I have studied and practised meditation for over 20 years, so I’m not a good representative of novice users. I checked, and the statistics led me to believe that something is missing. Of the 65 million who have downloaded the app, only 2 million subscribe.
The reason for such high level of attrition is that something is missing. In fact, out of the 3 key ingredients for successfully integrating meditation in daily life, apps like Headspace and Calm really provide only one: some knowledge about how to meditate.
The 3 Things You Need For A Successful Meditation Practice
Even if we don’t meditate in the context of spirituality, we can learn from those who have come before us. Buddhists have studied, practised, and struggled with meditation for over 2 millennia. They have shared that there are 3 essentials for a successful meditation practice: Knowledge, Guidance, and Community.
The basics of meditation are not difficult, neither intellectually nor practically, yet to present them in a way that is relevant and easily applicable is where the challenge lies. There are many techniques and best practices to choose from, which must be personalised to the individual person or group. This is why we need some form of guidance.
So much can happen (or not happen) when we begin meditating. Without having someone to check in with, it’s difficult to tell if our experience is “normal” or if we are on the right track. I’ll let you in on a little secret, 99% of the time the answer to both is “YES”. That being said, we need to hear it from someone else. If we don’t have our concerns validated our doubts will diminish both the quality of our practice as well as our resolve to keep with it.
The most powerful and immediate way to realise the process of exploring and quieting our minds is to discuss or experience meditation with others. This is why community plays a crucial role.
Once we know what we are doing and have the support of an instructor, we still need to “show up” on the cushion, chair, sofa, bed or whatever our preferred seating arrangement might be. As we try to establish a consistent meditation practice, many of us encounter a well-known phenomenon: the difficulty of doing what is good for us. Just like we know we should drink more water, eat more kale, and do more pushups—we encounter a series of foes ranging from the power of instant gratification to lack of self-esteem.
Join a Meditation Group
To quote former US president Barak Obama “No one can do it for you, but you can’t do it alone”, and you do not have to. There are growing meditation communities, and The Meditation Office is one of these communities. Meditation is a gift that delivers a true moment of sanity and we are here to help you benefit from these gifts. Reach out today to learn more!
This article was originally posted on: www.themeditationoffice.com/blog/headspace