Your Life: Meditation increases well-being

Charlotte Lankard: Meditation helps you learn about yourself — and the knowledge will help you better understand and connect with others.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD Published: January 14, 2014
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I was sitting recently in a hotel lobby and every single person was on a cellphone or PDA, seeming not to notice where they actually were. No one was sitting or standing quietly.

The more connected we are to new technology the more difficult it becomes to have quiet moments. We want to and we plan to, but we find ourselves picking up a mobile phone or an iPad for just one more look, and before we know it minutes — and sometimes hours — have elapsed.

I wonder if that is the reason we are seeing a heightened interest in mindfulness and meditation.

I first heard teacher and author Sharon Salzberg interviewed on the NPR program “On Being.” Her explanations about meditation addressed some common misconceptions.

Meditation doesn't require special skills. If you can breathe, you can meditate. It doesn't have to take a huge chunk of your time every day. The important thing is to establish a regular practice, whether the session is 60 or five minutes.

Meditation does not eliminate sadness or problems, but you will be able to roll with the punches more and feel less defeated.

It doesn't mean you will have only positive thoughts. Meditation is a way to recognize your thoughts, to observe and understand them and to relate to them more skillfully. It means to become more intentional and less reactive.