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.
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.
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.