True freedom comes when ego goes. – Shozan Hack Haubner

I came across mindfulness meditation practice a few years ago when my sister, who was teaching at Yale University at the time started attending the group meditation led by professor Judson Brewer, one of the leaders of mindfulness meditations in the medical field and also in relation to athletic performance.

Judson is the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in medicine and psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He also is adjunct faculty at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT.

I started practicing mindfulness meditation at home here and there, based on what my sister was telling me. What I particularly liked about it was the absence of any religious element in it. The spirituality that usually comes with meditations may make many people wary of this practice. However, this particular exercise felt as if I was going to the gym to work on my inner self.

Mindfulness meditation uses the breath as an anchor and that is the only thing one needs to focus on. No mantras, just breathe.  

Getting “In The Zone” with mindfulness meditation

Later on, I found out that my Alma mater, Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, was starting a short course on mindfulness for students and alumni.

I was very pleased that I could finally practice this meditation with a certified mentor in an environment where I felt safe to explore mindfulness at a deeper level and learn how it can be applied to my life and my performances. The course was also attended by a few of my colleagues and it had that back-to-school vibe. And I loved it.

It was constructed and organised in a way to help musicians with their performance preparation, dealing with stage anxiety and generally helping attendees to find their own self in the performance, getting “In The Zone” as they call it.

Since no one really teaches us how to deal with stage fright and other problems artists are going through, or even talk about it, this was a refreshing and empowering experience.

What I learned about mindfulness meditation is that it certainly can help you focus on your inner self.  It allows you to explore and reflect on your emotions and issues. Some, that you weren’t even aware you had. It is like going with a torch and shining a healing light on the soul. There’s something very therapeutic about it. I can not recommend it enough.

Mindfulness meditation is good for children too

People are practicing mindfulness meditation all around the globe. Today, this meditation technique is being introduced into primary schools in the UK. So far, it has shown to be a proven success in helping children with their performance and helping to achieve focused learning.

Mindfulness meditation is perfectly safe and the best way to introduce it to your children as “a game” that has the potential to help so much with their school work and self-expression.

One of the major questions I had is at what age should children first learn to meditate? Can mindfulness meditation affect the performance of a child later in life? On that, Dr. Judson Brewer has words of advice:

Dr. Judson Brewer: I think that children are great at being in the moment –they remind us all how to be curious and present focused. We just forget how to do this as we ‘grow up’.

I would guess helping children keep their curiosity and wonder would be a great help later in life –not only would they be able to tackle problems with a fresh perspective, and look at things different ways, instead of getting caught up in how things “should” be done, but they’d also remember not to take themselves so seriously. We all can use a little more of that!

What is your meditation practice? What’s your experience with mindfulness?

Nevena Bridgen
Nevena Bridgen

Founder

Nevena Bridgen is the Founder of The Wives of Westminster. She is an opera singer and a wife of MP Andrew Bridgen.

2 Comments
  1. I enjoyed reading this article about mindfulness. It would be great if political leaders would start meditating!

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