Q:The notion of slowing down from the constant speed of life seems an impossible option for most. How do we encourage people to lose the idea that faster means better? In your experience, do you find that people turning to meditation are looking for a way to relieve anxieties and stress from everyday life?
I think it can be important to slow down and take time off. I find it helpful for reducing stress as well as providing an open space for new and creative ideas to pop in. I wouldn’t make any generalised recommendations because we are all so different and what works for one, may not work for another. This considered, I would highly recommend meditation as a way to calm down, feel more joyful, feel less gripped by the drama of life and be more creative.
Some of the challenges we face today are similar to those faced by people thousands of years, it’s the human condition. Sadness, love and love conundrums, depression and thrill seeking, grief, finances, health, spiritual enquiry and curiosity about religion. I find it so fascinating when I find old literature, maybe from hundreds of years ago, and discover that people were facing the same life conundrums then as they do today.
This considered, the circumstantial challenges we face today are different to those of our parents, or people from hundreds or thousands of years ago. For example, here in the UK, we have clean drinking water, antibiotics and state welfare, these are solutions to challenges our ancestors would have had - and thankfully we don’t have those anymore.
Now days we have technology, AI, wearables and abundant digital information and that is unique for us to manage as far as I can see. I have included an extract from the introduction section of my book Inhale. Exhale. Repeat, where I mention this too:"Bringing It All Together in the Digital Age
Meditation has played the perfect drag act in its 5,000-year passage from East to West. In every evolution it has taken on the perfume of its era, with various schools of thought all basically speaking about the same thing. This, right now, is the digital information age, and meditation is being championed by a new generation of teachers. The issues we face are different to those of Rumi, Rilke and Buddha because the landscape of our lives has changed. But how?
While a hectic pace of life has been a matter of concern for some time now, the seemingly relentless innovation in information technology is quite new and poses a unique challenge to our generation. With meditation to hand, we can put our best foot forward and navigate the fast-changing demands of today with calm, focus and inspiration. "'Inhale. Exhale. Repeat' by Emma Mills
Q: The notion of slowing down from the constant speed of life seems an impossible option for most. How do we encourage people to lose the idea that faster means better?
Sometimes faster is better sometimes slower is better. There’re no rules of thumb and everything is dependent on the context, however it’s nice to have options for sure!
I used to use one mode in particular: fast paced achievement mode. And then over time with my practice a new mode opened up and I began to feel really content and happy, as though nothing was missing. And with nothing missing, there was no sense of urgency or rush.
I don’t know that I encourage people to be different to how they already are. I prefer to put out invitations in the form of books and blogs and events and workshops and if they hear something or feel something that resonates then I’m glad to be there talking about it with them.
Q: In your experience, do you find that people turning to meditation are looking for a way to relieve anxieties and stress from everyday life
Yes for sure. Many people want to find a way to feel less stressed and also less troubled by their overthinking or anxious thoughts.
People turn to meditation for a variety of reasons. For example, I turned to meditation out of curiosity and interest. It wasn’t until later that I understood the change it would bring to my mind.
Other people turn to meditation because they are curious to learn something new about themselves and their world. Others are interested in things like guardian angels and energy and crystals and they want to look there. I meet a wide variety of people and their motives are always different but underneath I think people are usually interested in two things, happiness and the truth of things.