The busier we get, the more apps are released, the more tasks and responsibilities we pile upon ourselves, the easier it is to lose track of the day to day. Mindfulness is by no means a new term on the wellness scene, and yet mastering the art of meditation isn’t easy in a digital world. So if you’re working in the city and struggling to find time to reconnect with yourself and the world around you, read our guide to meditation in 2017 – from online courses to new city services.
Through meditation, we can learn to live life more mindfully. Not sure what that means? It’s all about switching from ‘doing mode’ to ‘being mode’. Doing mode is our mind’s version of autopilot, the brain rationally trying to achieve things and complete tasks by identifying potential problems and solving them to complete tasks.
This is great for getting to work on time, cooking your favourite meal in 20 minutes or getting your chores done on a Saturday morning, but the problem comes when we try to address emotional problems in ‘doing mode’. Feelings of sadness, happiness or other emotional experiences should be practised with a ‘being’ mind, to avoid distraction and eventual amplification of problems.
You may be living on autopilot if you find yourself forgetting what you’re doing, getting distracted online and driving without realising where you’re going.
Mindfulness through meditation is about training the mind to move from doing mode to being mode, living more consciously to help us avoid emotional issues by using distractions and living on autopilot. Mindfulness is about creating choice and acting, not reacting. Living in the present moment.
Don’t have time to meditate?
If you’re living life on autopilot, it’s likely that your life is rushing past without you noticing, so you feel like you’re constantly running out of time. By learning to live more mindfully and in the moment, you will actually feel that you have more time available, so finding the time to meditate should be easier.
Meditation events and classes
When you begin meditating, it can be helpful to work with a guided group or expert to teach you to focus your mind and stop becoming distracted.
Meditate Now launched this month, the UK’s first websearch facility for meditation and mindfulness classes in London. The site aims to make meditation more accessible for the digital generation.
The website and app lists all meditation-related events happening around London, with TripAdvisor-style reviews so you can make informed choices as to which will be best for you. You can also narrow your search by specific issues, such as happiness, anxiety, focus, relationships and spiritual growth.
“Today there’s a whole new generation of young urbanites who are accessing meditation and mindfulness on their phone, through apps like Calm. Yet paradoxically, I think smart phones can often be counterproductive to meditation – you go to your phone to look for an app and get tempted to look on Facebook or answer an email. The generation discovering meditation through technology are now seeking to do it in a real world way and in the company of like-minded people.” – Pete Bartlett, Founder of Meditate Now
Pete is a facilitator for the renowned Action for Happiness course (which the Dalai Lama is patron of), inspiring people to take action for a happier world.
Despite Pete’s assertion that using apps to meditate can be counterproductive, services like Headspace can be helpful to guide meditation as a time out from a busy day. Learning to meditate in a guided group first can be really good practice, but it isn’t possible for everyone. We particularly like the Headspace app for commuting and walking, to help bring a moment of peace in busy modern life.
If you want to begin your meditation journey with a little help, but can’t make a daily or weekly session, consider signing up to an online guided course. For one thing, it takes the stress out of a journey through central London to get there…
The Reset Button offers eight-week online courses that take roughly 20-30 minutes every day with guided meditations, reading materials, videos and other learning resources. From holding a raisin to learn about consciousness to video talks from mindfulness experts and quizzes to help you learn. We’ve been trialling the course and it’s easier to find time to practice than we thought it would be – plus you can do a week’s free trial to see if it’s for you or not. http://courses.theresetbutton.co.uk/