Stop. Close your eyes, relax and breathe deeply in a quiet place for five minutes or longer. Don’t think about anything and let your mind quiet down. In a nutshell: meditate. Sounds so simple, right? Yet, with our increasingly packed schedules, taking time for ourselves to just sit down and “do nothing” sounds like an immense waste of time.

This misconception is all too common in the West, where meditation is still regarded hocus-pocus new age fluff by many. But the truth is that you don’t need to be a yogi to practice it or enjoy the benefits, which range from decreasing the effects of stress and anxiety, to increasing productivity and slowing down ageing of cells. Au contraire- anyone from businessmen to actors and Nobel Prizes do it and so can you! Taking five to ten minutes to yourself every day and focusing on just BEING and appreciating your existence can really do wonders for your wellbeing and change the way you think and see the world. Meditation helps you gain clarity of thought, energy and creativity. And it’s not just us saying it, but neuroscientists and the likes of Shakespeare and Isaac Newton can vouch for it to.

So, before we probe any further, why not have a go at it  yourself with a simple step-by-step exercise?

Purifying Light

  • First off, retrat to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
  • Visualising inner light is the closest thing you can come to actually seeing awareness in its pure state.To tune into this state of awarenes, try lying down (preferably not when tired for obvious reasons) or sitting down crossed legs with your hands resting on your legs and palms facing uparwads. Turn your gaze inwards- meaning, feel your body from the inside.
  • Visualise a stream of white-golden light entering your body from your crown (top of the head). Breathe in the white light and then slowly breath it out in blue.
  • Finish by filling your entire body with gold light, seeing it suffuse everywhere, extending beyond you as a golden aura. Ask to be enclosed in this light for the rest of the day.

Bear in mind, it’s never easy the first time around: your mind is not trained to stay still, so it will wander off and feel restless. You also may be overwhelemed by the amount of information (eg. need to buy milk! ; forgot to call Mum etc.) hitting you all at once, but stick to it until the voice of the ego quietens down and a profound feeling of calm takes over. It may happen the first time you meditate, or the fourth or fifth: there is no right or wrong and it’s different for everyone. Just keep at it until you will open your eyes to find yourself feeling great, surprisingly self-aware and utterly refreshed.

Namaste and happy practice!