As we celebrate World Meditation Day 2021, meditation expert Martin Boroson from the One Moment Company reveals how even the most inexperienced can get the benefits of meditation …and it only takes a moment.
According to recent statistics, the number of people who meditate around the world has tripled since 2012, with estimates ranging from 200 to 500 million people using this ancient practice that modern science has proven to be so beneficial for health, high performance, and well-being. . Some figures suggest that it’s now as popular a practice as going to the gym. However, many people are still missing out on the benefits of meditation because they think it’s too hard to master.
When people think about meditation, they often assume that it’s going to take up a lot of time. Others think of meditation as an endurance test–the longer you can sit still, at peace, the better. Much like perfecting a fine art, many people mistakenly believe that the amount of time you spend in meditation has to “add up” before you truly “get it,”
The unfortunate consequence of all this is that many people try to meditate and give up, or simply just don’t try at all.
For over a decade, Martin Boroson, an executive coach, Zen priest, and former psychotherapist has been teaching people that it is entirely possible to make a meaningful change in their state of mind quickly. In fact, when Martin showed executives and organisations how to meditate effectively in just a minute per day, perceived stress levels reduced by 33%.
“Once they realize that it only needs a moment, meditation suddenly becomes accessible. They understand that they can meditate whenever they need to, whether they are in waiting rooms, on the train, in board rooms, or in between bites,” explains Martin, whose book, One-Moment Meditation: Stillness for People on the Go, has been translated into twelve languages.
STOP WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME
Martin says, ‘The most important time to meditate is the very moment when we think, ‘I don’t have time to meditate’.
Most of us have a tendency to project our ideal of peacefulness onto some other time or place, when the conditions will be ‘perfect’. “We imagine being peaceful sometime in the future–when we get home from work, after the kids grow up, when we retire. We imagine being peaceful when we find the perfect place–deep in the forest, on that private beach, on top of a mountain, or maybe only in the afterlife,” he explains.
What’s more, the belief that meditation takes a long time in order to be effective can also become an excuse– ‘it lets us off the hook of being a bit more peaceful right now. For the moment in which we most need to be peaceful is the very moment in which it is not so easy to be peaceful,’ says Martin.
THE OPPORTUNITY IS HERE AND NOW
Meditation practice was developed primarily by monks, nuns, and ascetics–people who considered it necessary to spend many years in silent retreat, far away from the hubbub of life. Since then, people have become fixated on finding a long time and a perfect place, but as Martin explains, that misses the point entirely. ‘What all the great meditation great teachers learned from their lengthy, faraway training is the importance of being present in this moment, right now. So, if meditation ultimately teaches us to be present right here and now, then why don’t we start meditating right here, now? Why not start with this moment,’ suggests Martin.
BEING PEACEFUL IN THE PRESENT
Because the past and future are not really real, any thought of them is a distraction–a separation, a splitting. And it is this separation that is the cause of stress, explains Martin,
Putting that another way: it is really only possible to be peaceful in the present tense. Or you could say: it is really only possible to be peaceful in the present, which is not tense. ‘The reason why you don’t need a long time to be peaceful is that it actually doesn’t take any time to be peaceful. Not only is it possible to meditate in a moment, you can’t really meditate any other way,’ says Martin.
Meditating in a moment clearly has its benefits, so does that mean that longer meditations are simply not necessary?
Martin is keen to clarify this point; he is definitely not against longer forms of meditation. They have considerable benefits and pleasures, and Martin himself practices them regularly. Nor does he dismiss the value of discipline and commitment and regularity of practice. But, he argues, even when you do longer meditation, it comes back to the core building block – you still have to take it one moment at a time.
MISSED THE MOMENT, WHAT ABOUT NOW?
The great thing about learning to meditate in a moment is that the opportunity to get started is reset all the time, meaning you can’t really ‘miss’ the ideal moment even if your procrastinating mind tries to convince you otherwise.
“You don’t really have to go on a meditation retreat, or quit your job, or find “twenty minutes, twice a day” in order to experience peace. Deep peace is always available. It is offering itself to you now, now, and now again. And if you missed it then, don’t worry. It is still here now,” says Martin.
Tip: Learn How to meditate in a moment with the One-Moment Meditation® app. It’s free and you can learn to meditate quickly and powerfully…even if you’ve never meditated before.