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or teacher you first stumble upon is a clue.” But that doesn’t call for rigidly adhering to a particular type of meditation forever.


Assess Benefits


“Shop around and try different things, but at some point, you will begin to discover what works for you,” advises Scheinman. In trying to decide which meditation


practice is right for us, “Go with what feels juicy,” says Fargo, who founded MindfulnessExercises.com, offering 1,500 free mindfulness meditations, worksheets and talks. “You’re more likely to do what feels alive and enlivening.” Te act of meditating can be uncom-


fortable, but the challenges are part of its power. Scheinman remarks. “If you establish a daily practice, eventually, you will become more clear-headed, kinder and happier. Tat’s how you know your practice is working—not how you feel during meditation itself.” Consistency is key. It’s not effective to only meditate when you feel good, he says.


Overview of Options Mindfulness practices go by many names, from vipassana to MBSR, and can be done sitting or walking, but all are fo- cused on cultivating moment-to-moment awareness. “Mindfulness is about being aware: deliberately paying attention to body sensations, thoughts and emotions. Focused attention is on the body, heart


and mind,” explains Scheinman. Guided visualization differs from most forms of meditation in that the meditator is intentionally creating a mental image, typically one of a peaceful, beautiful place. Typically, the goal of a guided visualization is deep relaxation and stress reduction. Mantra meditations involve continu-


ous repetition of a word, phrase or sound, drawing spiritual power from the sound’s vibration, as well as its meaning. Many mantras are uttered in a tradition’s native


language, such as shanti, meaning peace in Sanskrit. Teachers like Lang prefer to use mantras in English that meditators can more easily grasp, such as, “Love is the way.” Breathing meditation. Meditation


experts say our ever-present breath is a sound foundation for a meditation prac- tice, as well as an easy place to start. “Tap- ping into the power of our breath is vital; it cleanses our system,” says Trottmann.


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February 2018 35


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