Meditation: An ancient practice to deal with modern challenges

Published: May 7, 2016
Author: Steven Thomas

Finding your flow

"Meditation is evolution's strategy to bring out our full potential." - Tara Brach

Can you remember a time when you felt completely in control and at ease with the situation you've found yourself in?  Maybe you've been delivering a presentation on your favourite subject. Or you've been out for a run and have felt totally connected to with your body and the environment around you.  You've found your flow, you're relaxed, alert, in control and, well, happy. For me, that's exactly what the practice of meditation or mindfulness can bring and I see it as a great tool to help innovate yourself.

I'm not sure how I originally found meditation but I remember at the time thinking that anything that helped me take on the challenges of the day to day was worth trying.  When coaching others (and myself) I frame it as a way of offsetting the stress that inevitably can build up in us all.  Like you're filling up your emotional bank account ready to pay out with each challenge.

 I've now been practicing for five years or so and whilst I've yet to crack it on a level I know I can, I regularly use several of the techniques I've picked up from a couple of teachers to cope with what's coming at me daily.

I'm a fan of the Tim Ferriss podcast where he "deconstructs world class performers". From the hundreds of people he's interviewed there have been very few who don't use some form of meditation, including Tim himself.

My three key insights on meditation:

  1. There is a load of scientific evidence to show that meditation can change the brain in a positive way leading to a happier self.
  2. By practising meditation you can become more connected with your entire body, particularly the breath... Turns out we can all breathe better.
  3. Meditation can improve just about anything including sleep, concentration levels, listening skills, adapting to change and creativity.

How to get started:

There are lots of free ways to introduce yourself to meditation with more and more becoming available. Here are some that focus on guided meditation...


Andy Puddicom is a former Buddhist Monk who has used technology and community to teach the world to practice mindfulness and meditation.  You can find out more about Andy here.  He offers a free guided 10-minute meditation course which is well worth taking if you're even a little curious.

Tara Brach

Tara Brach is a leading western teacher of Buddhist (mindfulness) meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She is also the author of Radical Acceptance (2003), and True Refuge (2013).  I enjoy jumping into her podcast from time to time where she offers free talks and meditations.

The good people over at help readers with their sleep related challenges (think insomnia, bad sleep hygiene etc.) and give helpful tips for a better sleep.  They've kindly assembled  the Best Guided Meditations For Sleep: Unlock Inner Peace And Deep Relaxation For The Best Sleep Of Your Life