Thursday, July 20, 2023

Mindfulness isn't about sitting on the floor - in fact it can be counterproductive

 If you are looking at getting into a mindfulness practice, and are searching Pinterest for how to set up a meditation space, I might gently suggest that you might be doing it wrong.  It's key to have a quiet space, but that can be a couch or a chair, just in a regular old room -- no Buddha statue, falling water fixture, or aromatherapy.

I'm sure it's different for everyone, but for me, what reinforces a mindfulness practice is just sitting down and having a mindfulness practice.  I meditate on my couch, in my car, when I am falling asleep..etc.  If I had to sit on the floor cross legged, with my legs going numb, and my back aching, I don't think I would ever actually practice.  In fact I know this to be the case, because for many years I was into buying special meditation pillows (Zafu and Zaibuton?) and timers, and cordoning off space in my apartment -- but never actually practicing.

One thing I will say though is that quiet is important.  There used to be a meditation class at a co-working space I attended, and it was right outside of a noisy meeting space.   Having people talking in the background isn't really productive for me.  However, even here, I'd say just use your headphones and earbuds to put on a guided meditation or background noise.

I learned to meditate primarily with Joseph Goldstein in the 10% Happier App, and I'd highly suggest finding some kind of guided approach to begin with.  A couple of years in I basically just use a timer.