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What is meditation?

Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.

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What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the ability to be present, to rest in the here and now, fully engaged with whatever we’re doing in the moment.

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Meditation is a skill

Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. Think of it like exercising a muscle that you’ve never really worked out before. It takes consistent practice to get comfortable. And it’s usually easier if you have a teacher. We’ve got you covered there.

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It's meditation practice, not meditation perfect

There’s no such thing as perfect meditation. Sometimes your focus will wander or you’ll forget to follow your breath. That’s OK. It’s part of the experience. What’s most important is to meditate consistently. It’s one of those things where the journey is more important than the destination.

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The mind can be a weird place

It takes time to get comfortable with your mind. There might be setbacks along the way but that’s part of meditating. Keep practicing. You’re doing great just by showing up.

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READ NEXT: Trouble meditating? Here's advice for 17 common issues

Questions about meditation? We have answers.

  • We recommend meditating first thing in the morning if you can. It’s a nice way to start the day and is usually the easiest time to find a few undisturbed minutes. The most important thing is to pick a time that works for you and try to consistently meditate at that time.

  • Try to anchor your practice to another part of your routine, like brushing your teeth. Wake up and think: meditate, brush teeth, drink coffee. And don’t be frustrated if you miss a session. It happens. Just start right up again the next day.

  • No need to hike to the nearest mountaintop. Any reasonably quiet, comfortable place where you’re not likely to be interrupted is just fine.

  • You can wear whatever you like so long as you’re comfortable. It also helps to take off uncomfortable shoes and to loosen tight clothing, like ties or belts, if they’re bothering you.

  • Sit in the middle of a chair with your legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor and hands resting on the legs or on your lap. The important thing is to set your body up in a way that your muscles are able to switch off and relax.

  • We generally recommend sitting instead of lying down. However, if it’s too painful or uncomfortable to sit upright, you’re OK lying down. Try placing a thin pillow under your head and bending your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. It’ll help protect your lower back.

  • Nope. When we meditate, we’re not trying to breathe in a special way. Just allow the breath to be completely natural.

  • It really depends on how long you’ve been away. If it’s only been a few days, just pick up right where you left off. If it’s been at least a week, we recommend restarting the pack. If it’s been more than a month, you should probably do the Basics pack and get comfortable meditating again before you jump into anything else.

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  • Access the full library of 500+ meditations on everything from stress, to resilience, to compassion
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  • Make mindfulness a part of your daily routine with tension-releasing workouts, relaxing yoga, Focus music playlists, and more

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