Demystify meditation and make it accessible to as many people as possible: this is the Headspace project
Having left everything behind and spent ten years travelling to various monasteries to study and practice meditation, Andy Puddicombe went back home to the UK. He soon realised that meditation was not being taught correctly there, and that because of the hurried way in which it was being taught, people were not able to enjoy its benefits. If we are looking to make the most of this practice, we need to learn three things: how to approach the technique, how to practice it, and finally how to integrate it into our everyday lives.
The Headspace project was launched in 2010 with the aim of presenting meditation as part of a mind training system, based on those three essential elements. The Headspace mission was to help people live well, and to make meditation become a tool accessible to everyone in their daily lives. Ten minutes a day are enough to learn and bring awareness and presence to our lives, allowing the mind to have its own space, or that calm and tranquil space in which clarity, concentration and relaxation all blend into one.
Having a calm mind enables us to see the world differently, and when this happens, the world really does change. This doesn’t mean giving up on our hopes and dreams, quite the opposite; it means living with ease and being less dependent on external factors. Learning to meditate and practice mindfulness does not even mean a complete change in lifestyle. What we are asked to do is nothing, which is really difficult for almost everyone, as we are used to flitting from one distraction to another, with our mind full of thoughts, making it difficult for us to concentrate and relax. A lifestyle in which we are mentally present is available to us all, and doesn’t require us to do any somersaults; what we can enjoy in exchange for our small effort is an improvement in our relationships, greater empathy, and a greater capacity to listen and concentrate. Basically, we are talking about a complete improvement in every aspect of our lives. Meditation helps us to understand that our biggest struggles are not caused by factors outside us, but by what goes on in our minds. And luckily, we can do something about it.
To get the most out of meditation, it is important that we learn to communicate with people in our daily lives amiably and with sensitivity, that we begin to feel gratitude for what we have and to be kind to ourselves and to others. We need to develop a balanced approach to life, one which allows us to accept events and situations without resistance or trying to deny the present.
The key ideas of "The Headspace Guide to... Mindfulness & Meditation"
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