Getting Started with Meditation

By Eva Gregersen

It is not without a certain sense of irony that I sit down to write a primer on meditation. You see, when I was younger, I was full of disdain for meditation, which I knew little about but associated with empty feel-good rhetoric spouted by intellectually challenged new age hippies who were blind to their own make believe and bias. I don’t believe I ever seriously asked myself why people would actually bother to do something as seemingly pointless as sit down and do nothing for hours on end.

It wasn’t until my mid-20s that it occurred to me that there might be something to meditation after all. The impetus was the coincidence of having two people in my life who independently of one another seemed to have developed into better versions of themselves compared to just a couple of years earlier. Both impressed me as having become wiser, calmer, more capable, more robust, and more caring. In short, better company. I expressed my awe to them, and to my perplexity each one credited their meditation practice. Now, if I had had this experience with just one person, I probably would not have put much stock in such an answer, figuring people are wont to attribute causality to arbitrary factors they just happen to feel good about. But when two people I knew – two very different people – had undergone the same positive transformation and attributed it to the same seemingly useless practice, I had to admit that I might have been too hasty in dismissing meditation. I resolved to try it out with an open mind. ...

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