As an exercise physiologist and wellness coach, I’ve taken the same approach to teaching mindfulness meditation. I’ve always taught my clients that becoming more physically active is cumulative. I would no more tell someone who’s been a “couch potato” to start by running a 10k. Instead, I’d encourage them to start by incorporating more movement into daily life.
I believe this same approach works for starting a mindfulness meditation practice. We can start by pausing and following 3 breaths in and out. We can do this a few times throughout the day and slowly build to 20 minutes. In order to make any kind of lasting change we need to take baby steps.
As a culture we’re addicted to doing. I believe it’s too much to expect people who are racing through the day on autopilot to stop and meditate. Instead, we need to meet ourselves where we are. We need to first learn to pause. Overcoming this hurdle is the precursor to developing a meditation practice. This is what people who have coined the term MacMindfulness don’t understand.
I’ve been extensively trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and share the same desire to protect the integrity of mindfulness practice. I trust this practice. I believe that any mindfulness is better than no mindfulness.
Developing a formal meditation practice strengthens our spiritual muscles.
It enables us to bring mindfulness into the moments of our lives—into how we care for our bodies and into how we relate to one another at home and work. This is an ever-evolving process, a lifelong journey.