Meditation looking for a Purpose

If you are looking for a purpose, it is very likely that you are, have been or will be considering to transition towards a more meaningful career.

And you may often feel confused, lost, stressed – creating a general sensation of unease.

As an On Purpose October 2018 Associate, I want to share with you my experience using meditation to navigate the rich variety of states of mind that you may have to face when transitioning careers.

My first impressions about mindfulness

Years ago, I started finding this thing called “mindfulness” on social media.

To be honest, I never paid much attention to it, as the articles I was reading seemed too shallow and the idea seemed too hyped. Moreover, I wrongly thought,

I’m a very calm person, why would I need to be even calmer?

Giving meditation a fair try

It was only a bit over a year ago when I decided to give it a fair try.

Maybe because I was starting to feel more lost than ever, looking for meaning in my life.

Throughout the last year, I’ve been practising different types of meditation trying to find the one that suits me best.

In part out of curiosity, in part because not every meditation technique is for everybody nor fulfils the same purpose.

Vipassana meditation

Currently, I’m practising mainly Vipassana (30 mins per day) giving some space to other types of meditation such as Compassion meditation (or Metta in Pali language) once a week.

Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques and it means seeing things as they really are.

It consists of observing the sensations in your body without any judgment. Understanding that everything changes from moment to moment. Focusing deeply on the present moment while avoiding any projection towards the future or rememoration of the past.

Neither engaging with any pleasant sensation nor reacting towards unpleasant ones.

During my day to day, it really helps me in finding equanimity and a sense of ease in difficult situations while also preventing obsessive thoughts from happening.

If you heard of mindfulness, mindfulness is the westernized version of Vipassana.

Compassion meditation

I find Compassion meditation to be a bit more shallow yet really powerful practice.

It starts by seeing oneself as an imperfect being able to suffer and it moves slowly towards those people we may not like so much, but who are also imperfect beings who also suffer.

It helps in making oneself more compassionate with oneself and others and happy as a consequence.

Committing to meditate every day…

Half an hour a day is a huge commitment that I don’t recommend to anyone who’s just starting.

My suggestion if you are just beginning, is to focus on creating the habit and on developing concentration. You get to create the habit by practising every day (even if for only 5 minutes).

Developing concentration

To develop concentration, the most common practice is called Anapana, which consists of focusing on the breath.

The process is simple:

  1. Close your eyes,
  2. try to follow your breath,
  3. you’ll get distracted by your thoughts,
  4. you realize you got distracted (insight)
  5. you come back to the breath avoiding any resentment against yourself.
  6. Repeat for as long as you want to practice.

Take it easy, but not too easy!

If you are wondering about the posture, don’t worry too much. Just find an ergonomic position but don’t get too comfortable.

When I started practising I used to fall asleep easily. I realized it was because I was way too comfy!

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