Even a few short years ago, just the word would have made many people shudder or at least turn up a sceptical nose whilst picturing robed monks in caves chanting about spirituality and nirvana.
BUT… (around here at least) the tide is turning for the better. More and more the importance of mindfulness and meditation is being recognised across the board as a way of keeping general mental health and anxieties in check and combating the stress of the ever-prevalent ‘busy’ disease.
This relatively new acceptance of meditation not being ‘weird’ or only for ‘hippies’ is down in no small part to charities and community organisations like Making Meditation Mainstream.
Making Mediation Mainstream – Free Weekly Sessions
Making Meditation Mainstreem run free weekly meditation sessions on beaches around Sydney. The sessions are open to anyone and everyone – men, women, kids, first timers, seasoned meditators, locals and visitors alike.
I joined MMM’s newest session on Manly Beach at sunrise last Saturday to give it a whirl. A rugged-up group gradually gathered at North Steyne Surf Club and made their way to a spot on the sand near the ocean edge. Jason, the founder, gave a brief non-fluffy explanation of meditation in which we were told to close our eyes, concentrate on our breathing and let the thoughts come and go without judgment.
There was no test to pass, no-one raising an eyebrow when one (i.e. me) fidgeted and scratched their nose, no-one telling someone (i.e. me) they were doing it wrong when they decided to have a sneaky peak at the sunrise. I did have to let many thoughts come and go (in particular thoughts about what I would write in this blog!) but still managed to concentrate for (very small) sections of time on my breath and the sounds of the ocean. For someone who usually struggles to sit still, I call this a win! And next time I’ll try not to peek. 😉
Even practiced meditators do not manage to stop the thoughts completely and even if you just get 20 minutes to yourself in a beautiful, peaceful environment before the madness of your weekend kicks in, then that is 20 minutes worth having. If you manage to meditate regularly, benefits of meditation include improving concentration and attention span, increasing happiness, improved sleep and slowed aging. Read why founder of MMM, Jason, Meditates here.
If you are still not convinced, I can also confirm that there were no monks, caves, robes or chanting. It’s mainstream people!
Making Meditation Mainstream are aiming to have a free, friendly, accessible meditation sessions on every beach of Sydney. For more info go to: https://meditationformen.com.au/give-back/
Start your Saturday with a bit of yin and yang. Meditation with Making Meditation Mainstream at 6.30AM and bootcamp with OzSquad at 7AM. Both are guaranteed to leave you energised and ready for the day ahead. Book your free trial OzSquad session here:
Image credits: Making Meditation Mainstream