How to


What is meditation?

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Have you ever had a computer overheat and had to switch it off for a minute before restarting it?

Meditation works in the same way. You stop what you’re doing and go to a still, quiet place within yourself, in order to reset and revive yourself.

Meditation is the skill of developing focus and being content in the present moment.

It’s your own, uninterrupted breathing space.

— How do you do it?

Firstly, find time to practice and decide how long you want to practice for. Start short and build up to longer sessions as you get better at it.

Sit in a comfortable position. A position that you can stay still in without being distracted by pins and needles or pain (so no need for the cross legged lotus position!). Try the sofa, your dining table chair or a cushion on the floor. Perhaps in your parked car if you’ve got time before the kids come out of school. Look for opportunities to make time to sit in stillness.

Meditation begins with slowing your breathing. Concentrating on slowly and fully breathing in and breathing out, bring your awareness to the breath and focus on this as you relax. Let go of the outer world and turn inward, to your inner world.

It’s a skill that needs regular practice. That is why meditation is typically referred to as a ‘meditation practice’ because you need to practise, practise, practise! Like playing the piano, don’t expect to be able to do it well without committing to learning how to do it.

It isn’t about ‘having an empty mind’, so don’t worry if you lose focus and start thinking about something. As soon as you realise your mind has wandered off, just bring your attention back to your breathing. Over time fewer thoughts will come and ultimately, they won’t be a distraction and you will feel a separation from them.






— Building the habit

You are the master of your time – and you have more time than you think.

Set an intention to practice regularly and you will soon find it easy to make time for it. When something becomes a habit it becomes easy to do; and when something is enjoyable you’ll want to find time for it.

Fit it in as part of your normal routine. Look for opportunities to take a ‘meditative moment’: for example, when waiting for the kettle to boil, on your commute, after you shower or before you brush your teeth.

Talk about it with your friends and you will soon hear of others who also practice meditation. Then you can benefit from tips from others!

Facts The History of Meditation

  • One

    Meditation has been on the planet throughout the history of mankind.

  • Two

    Caveman paintings show early man meditating around the fire.

  • Three

    Meditation doesn’t have to be religious.

  • Four

    Meditation is seen in many religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam.

Schools of Meditation

4 main schools of meditation according to the British School of Meditation…

  • 1/Buddhism
  • 2/Zen
  • 3/Transcentental
  • 4/Mindfulness

— Types of meditation

There are many different types of meditation.
I encourage you all to try different styles as what might suit you, might not suit another person. Also, what might work for you on one day, may not the next. Be prepared to adapt and explore!

Breathing awareness — focusing on the breath and the breath alone. This can involve counting the breaths or noticing its path through the body.

Mantras — focusing on a word or sentence and repeating this throughout the meditation in order to embody the sentiment.

Contemplation — purposefully and deeply thinking about a set subject.

Walking meditation — bringing awareness to your physical body as it walks the earth below.

Silence — no guidance, no music, pure silence.

Chanting — a set of words/sentence repeated in song.

Zen — mindfully focusing on thoughts without any judgement.

Loving-kindness — focusing on loving thoughts about yourself and others, including strangers or someone you have negative emotions toward. It will enhance compassion, love and kindness to all.

Mindfulness — awareness of your body including the sensations within and your emotions in the present moment.

Visualisation — focusing on vivid imagery to disconnect from your outer world and take your mind to an alternative place.

Body scan — a focused relaxation of each body part in turn. This can reduce pain and tension in the body.

Transcendental — a mantra given by an approved transcendental teacher specifically for you and this is focused on throughout the meditation.

What’s the difference between meditation and mindfulness?

Meditation is mindful, but mindfulness is not always meditation. Both these terms are commonly used but it is important to understand the difference.

Mindfulness is the act of bringing attention to the present moment and is a conscious effort to engage and appreciate the experience at hand. It can be practiced anywhere and at any time, whilst doing every day tasks.

For example, you can make a walk in the park mindful by engaging your senses to enhance your experience of the walk and not be distracted by thoughts of the past or future.

You can use your sight to appreciate the vibrancy of colors in the surroundings, your sense of smell to notice aromas and your hearing to take in the sounds of nature. You can focus on the feeling of your feet connecting you to the earth below and perhaps eat a piece of fruit and really take time to taste it in your mouth.

Help yourself to help others”

Dr Liza

This develops the skill of focus, as well as appreciation of life through gratitude and positivity. I will often recommend applying mindfulness to cooking and eating when my patients ask for advice on losing weight. I tell them to engage their senses before eating anything, as this reduces the likelihood of overeating.

You may have heard someone say  ‘exercise is my meditation’ or ‘reading is my meditation’. What they mean though, is that this is their mindfulness.

Meditation, on the other hand, is the art of bringing the awareness inward as opposed to outward. It is the practice of finding stillness, peace and contentment within. Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation and is separate to mindfulness alone.