Is ‘meditation’ still a taboo word or has it become fashionable?

Perhaps it’s somewhere in-between at present. I asked around about people’s thoughts / experiences and this is some of what they said:

I always thought it was much more involved and complex than it actually is, that I would have to go to classes for weeks. I finally read a very short guide that came free in The Guardian when I was ill at Christmas and realised how simple and effective it was. Just bolting together a couple of relaxation exercises we have probably all tried at some point. The term meditation has lots of connotations I think, which don’t make it seem accessible or achievable, which is a shame as it really is an amazing tool. Relaxation exercises is a good term?

I find meditation impossible! I’ve tried to do a little through yoga, but I was always too distracted by my thoughts – not so much my surroundings, but my irritation with myself that when I was told to tune out the outside world, the first thing I focused on was the sound of a bus outside! Then I would spend the whole session trying not to think about the things I knew I shouldn’t be thinking about, and chastising myself! The closest I’ve ever come to meditation is listening to my slimpod in bed, and ususally falling asleep, believing the message that my subconscious is still listening, even if I’m not! This is why I liked what you said recently about trying to still the mind and just be in the moment. I can do that if I focus on actively engaging my mind with the joy of what I’m seeing or doing or hearing, but not if I’m trying to actually empty my mind.

I went to meditation classes years ago when I was living in Italy I suppose you could say it was deep breathing, a little yoga and freeing the mind of all the crap we carry in there every day. We were a class of about 6 and each day (it was a five day course two hours a day) one of the participants broke down and cried which I thought odd that it had this effect on them until I surprised myself by having a breakdown on the final day. I had finally let go of all the pain I was holding onto subconsciously at that time and the result was tears. But those tears were strangely very comforting and I felt as if I had passed a barrier. I felt MUCH better after that and wished the course had continued as I may have dug deeper and understood even more of myself and my errors. Who knows? I just wish I had the time to implement it more often today as I think it was very healing.

I think I mentioned this in a comment on the blog, but I started to see a new acupuncturist a few months ago, and he’s the first one I’ve ever seen who does a kind of meditation/deep breathing thing as part of the session. I was a bit mortified to open my eyes the first time I was there and realise that I had tears streaming down my cheeks & had been crying through most of it. It’s the first time I’d really thought about my breathing since pregnancy and birth, and it really reminded me that something very simple can help you release tension, emotion and stress that you don’t even realise you’re carrying. For me, meditation doesn’t mean vacating your body, it means really inhabiting it, and thinking about it with more focus that you do normally. If I have something like period pains or a tension headache, I can alleviate it a lot just by lying and doing some relaxation exercises and trying to really focus my energy on those parts of the body that need some love and attention to heal them. I also find it really good for helping get to sleep, and if I’m having a bad day and can’t make time to do anything approaching ‘proper’ meditation, it can help so much just to take five minutes to go and stand at a window and do some deep breathing.
Also, I completely relate to Marianne Whooley’s point above, about it helping you have a healthy and productive kind of cry.

In my paranormal life, I occasionally meditate though not like I used to. I have epilepsy and meditation is quite dangerous (as is hypnosis) because it relaxes the brain so much so, it can cause seizures. Also, you know the slimming thing where you listen to a slimpod thingamajig? Well, I looked into that and spoke to a consultant about it as was told it isn’t something epileptics should experiment with because of the relaxation effect on the brain. I’ll just have to stop being a pig instead!!

LISKA –  CONSCIOUS MUM (AND NEW MUM ONLINE).  Liska kindly made this video. She was a yoga teacher for many years and takes a more traditionally perceived approach to her practice, which is quite structured.  You can watch it HERE.

As a Christian I often find other Christians don’t like the word meditation, they associate it with new age/ spiritual disciplines, but personally I have always thought meditation is a very good thing. The bible teaches us to meditate on God’s word (contemplate, chew it over) and thus I personally think time mentally away from the rush of everyday life to just be is so important. I just need to do it more now!

Michelle is right.   It’s not only Christians who are put off by the word.  An alternative one that kept cropping up from others, which they were more comfortable with is ‘Mindfulness,’ so much so it deserves its own post. We’ll hear from LISA PEARSON – MUMMY WHISPERER and TANYA – MUMMY BARROW – who introduces us to an organization that sells (inexpensively) ‘The world’s first gym membership for the mind’ and ‘Meditation for modern living,’ – including an App! Plus, we’ll get the SCIENCE and AISHA ISABEL ASHRAF – EXPATLOGUE tells us about a study she volunteered to participate in, researching the effects of Mindful Meditation on depression relapse prevention.

Isn’t this exciting?  How do you perceive the word ‘Meditation?’

Please share your thoughts and experiences. You can email or comment and / or place them on the special Page for Your Stories.

Thank you everybody!


meditation, mindfulness, lilac flower,


  1. says

    For me meditation is something i try to do every day from 2 minutes of mindful walking whilst out with the dog – I try to be ‘in the moment’ and hear/feel nature all around me and feel the calm that it brings, to full blown sitting on a mat cross legged for any thing from 10 mins up to 10 days!!

    The thing is that in any meditation I generally achieve about 2 minutes of real stillness but it always calms me. Some of my favs are ones where I chant or repeat a mantra as that really does help keep the shopping lists at bay.

    Its called a meditation ‘practice’ because thats exactly what we are doing – practicing. Prayer is similar, repetition of the Rosary or some other prayers are ways of stilling the mind and allowing love to enter the spaces. Wonderful!

  2. says

    I’m rubbish at meditating where it involved drowning the world out. I’m not good at relaxing at all and can’t even nap on the sofa unless the telly is on. I think it comes from years of rushing around. But I do think praying is like meditating …(and I don’t consider it new age) …and when I do pray I feel at leave for a bit. I think I need. To pray more often!

  3. says

    I really enjoyed reading this and reading everyone’s comments – all very interesting perspectives! I used to meditate a lot years ago – should really make time for it again – and what I found was the best way to focus was to put away this notion of clearing, emptying the head of thoughts and just sitting in awareness – breathing deeply – of your body and actually becoming the observer of external sounds and internal chatter and thinking and feeling – like watching traffic or clouds pass. What I found is when I simply observed and watched my thoughts without judgement – it had the effect of distancing myself from my internal experiences and that opened up calm. You can’t willfully empty mind of thinking – I don’t think it’s possible….. Great post!

    • Anya says

      Thank you so much – I am particularly interested in your perspective with you being a psychotherapist and am glad you are not averse to it! xx

  4. says

    It is so beautiful to get all of these perspectives, both in the post itself and in the comments.
    Thanks so much for including the link to my video. Not looking my best but I will be in 40 days (plugs: #Spring4ward shamelessly).
    Thank you “Healer” for being a true friend.
    Love ya,
    Liska x

    • Anya says

      Thank you Liska – I love the interaction on this blog. The video is a valid contribution and I’m glad to include it. I’m also loving the #spring4ward xx

  5. says

    I think I know what meditation should be like but I can never seem to manage it – emptying my mind seems impossible!

    Really interesting post Anya x

  6. says

    I always start my day with half an hour of meditation and back stretches.
    I find meditating usually quite easy with appropriate music and breathing. However, I would like to let go of something at the moment and on the days I am trying to, I am failing miserably… I guess I have to keep on trying!

    • Anya says

      Thank you for kicking it off Penny. People might have stayed quiet otherwise! I’ve been amazed, impressed and encouraged by how many people have one forward too :)

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