I've had two fresh nudges to experiment with meditation. The first is from our instructor over at EvolveAll martial arts gym. He starts his classes with a minute or two of meditation, and it's a wonderfully pleasant way to start the class. The other influence is from our Rabbi, no less.
This past Shabbat I managed to make it to services early enough to join her for her 9:30am meditation club. The idea is to help congregants relax and open their mind so that they can get the most out of services. This may seem like a new-age shmaltzy practice, but it's in fact quite ancient. If it worked for the Rabbis of the Talmud, who am I to argue with the practice?
Anyway, the Rabbi lead us on a guided meditation and I tried my best to keep up. When it was over I was amazed at just how relaxed I had become. It was like a spa treatment minus the hassle of going to the spa.
Between our instructor and our Rabbi, I'm thinking there really may be something to this meditation fad!
With this new found respect for meditation, I thought I should take the next geeky step and install a Guided Meditation app on my phone. That way, next time I'm stranded in an airport or coping with a bout of insomnia, I can put the time to good use.
Our Martial Arts instructor suggested we try headspace, though I was a bit turned off by the subscription fee. Instead, I installed calm.com's app, which of course, also has quite a bit of paid content. Though, it does contain enough free content to get me started (headspace also offers some free content; so in the end, they are probably equivalent).
I really shouldn't be knocking the paid content side of this. For this type of app, quality is essential and paying a few bucks for it is more than justified.
So go ahead and try one of these apps. If you're like me, you'll be amazed at how much impact you can have on your self by literally doing nothing.
Oh, and as a bonus tip: head over to calm.com. The music and background image alone should help chill you out.