So we know meditation is good for us, right? But the pressure to meditate well makes many of us feel like we suck at it before we’ve passed the first two minutes. But our idea of what it means to meditate properly usually starts with a step 1: clear up the thoughts running in your head. However, this meditation practice used by Meghan Markle, which appeared in her lifestyle blog the Tig, is different. No, REALLY.
For one, Vedic meditation doesn’t require any guilt of over-active thoughts, something Meghan also struggled with saying that she found meditation ‘endlessly daunting at first’, labeling off the general first-timer qualms ‘the thoughts, the distractions, the boredom of it...‘. She continues, though, that shortly after learning Vedic meditation, it became the ‘quietude that rocked my world’.
‘I can’t put my finger on the why or the how, but I will tell you this much, for me … I am just happier. And meditation has much to do with that’, Meghan wrote on the now defunct site.
‘The worst thing that can happen is that you gave yourself ten minutes of quiet in an endlessly loud world.’
And before you say you don’t have enough time in the day – which as Meghan points out likely means you need twice as much meditation – it only takes 10 minutes. If you aren’t sold yet, this line might do it: ‘[Vedic meditation is] that type of meditation that Russell Simmons swears by, that people say changes their life and the trajectory of their future – more success, more fulfillment, more happiness, less worry’. Sounds good to us…
‘I urge you to give it a shot’, Meghan continues. ‘The worst thing that can happen is that you gave yourself ten minutes of quiet in an endlessly loud world.’ And we can imagine just how necessary this must be for the new Duchess of Sussex – now more than ever.
Before you begin, know that Vedic meditation is not associated with any religion and is based on the Verdic texts that originate from Veda – the ‘wellspring of all Eastern philosophy’ according to the Meditation Trust. It centres around the repetition of a single mantra to help quieten your mind.
Light Watkins shared tips from his book, The Inner Gym: A 30-day workout for strengthening Happiness, summarised here as they appear on the Tig:
1. Get comfortable
Sit … anywhere with comfortable back support. It’s best not to lie down, but it’s not necessary to sit up completely straight.
2. Calculate your finish time
Check the time and add ten minutes on top of your start time. It’s best not to set an alarm, or you may end up shocking yourself out of your meditation. Close your eyes.
3. Take note of your breathing
Without speeding up or slowing down your breathing, just notice it. Expect your mind to wander away from noticing your breath. Do not fight this; it’s a natural occurrence.
4. Embrace your thoughts
It’s okay to get lost in your thoughts… For now, let the act of meditation become synonymous with both taking note of your breathing and getting lost in your thoughts. Let all of the thoughts come and go – as you forget and become aware that you are meditating, it’s best not to resist any thoughts, including ideas, songs, conversations, images, feelings, or sensations. Embrace all mental experiences without concern, remorse, or regret.
5. Come out slowly
Check your timing device periodically, and after ten minutes, slowly open your eyes and bring yourself out.