Meditation is taking over Wall Street and Silicon Valley — here’s how to start a daily habit

With the resources readily available now, it’s the perfect time to learn how to meditate.
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  • Over the last several years, meditation has surged in popularity in Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
  • Even though it’s trendy, it’s still a scientifically proven way to alleviate stress.
  • Apps like Headspace are useful for learning the basics.
  • To develop a habit, it’s important to set aside as little as five minutes in your daily routine.
  • Going into a meditative state involves being a passive observer of thoughts, not attempting to force them to disappear.


At this point, it’s nearly impossible to escape the buzzwords “mindfulness” and “meditation.”

Silicon Valley executives like Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey are going on Buddhist meditation retreats, high-end spas in big cities are installing “meditation pods,” meditation app Headspace has raised $75 million, and each year hundreds of Wall Streeters are following Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio’s lead and paying almost $1,000 to learn Transcendental Meditation.

In a recent interview for Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” bestselling author Tim Ferriss said that nearly all of the 140 successful people he included in his latest book, “Tribe of Mentors,” had some sort of mindfulness or meditation habit.

Like any wellness trend among the wealthy and powerful, the popularity of meditation may fade, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the practice. There is now decades of research backed by organizations like the US federal agency the National Institutes of Health that have linked regular meditation to physical changes in the brain. These can result in improved focus and emotional control, which in turn yields lowered blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

And from personal experience, we can tell you that making meditation a regular habit is, at the very least, a practical way to relieve stress.

Meditation is a skill like anything else, and it takes practice. But it also may be easier than you think. You can start today with just a few steps.

Pick which kind of meditation you want to practice.

Pick which kind of meditation you want to practice.Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

The most popular forms of meditation in the US are derived from ancient Hindu and Buddhist practices that began in India and spread through Asia.

As Suhag Shukla, director of the Hindu American Foundation, explained to us in a 2016 interview, practicing secularized versions of these ancient techniques is not sacrilegious. The practice should instead be seen as a healthy exercise for body and mind.

Beginners should consider mindfulness or Zazen meditation, where breathing is the focal point, or TM, where a meaningless mantra repeated internally is the focal point.

It’s worth noting that it’s best to learn from a teacher, but that if you want to dabble you can do so on your own and without spending any money.

Try a smartphone app like Headspace.

Try a smartphone app like Headspace.Headspace

There are many quality guided meditation apps available for both Android and iOS, and they serve as great introductions to the practice.

We particularly like Headspace, which offers a variety of guided mindfulness meditations tailored toward specific topics like the alleviation of anxiety or the promotion of creativity.

If you’d like to try many different types of guided meditations or find one tailored to your faith, you can check out Insight Timer.

NOTE: This article was written by Richard Feloni, and was published on Business Insider. You can read the full article HERE.

Meditation for Christians-Meditate Using a Biblical Model

Meditation for Christians has remained of paramount importance for decades due in part to the notion that meditation is bad. What most Christians fail to realize is that prayer is a form of meditation.

Prayer in the Christian church does not follow the same tenets of Transcendental meditation. The two are very different, and the facts should be brought to light to bring peace and unity in the church.

I recently began a meditation program that was not created by a Christian, but I’ve found that the program is quite useful for the purpose of gaining greater focus and stress reduction. However, while using this program I’ve been focused on prayer time as I listen to the sounds with my headphones.

I’m going to share with you I’m doing, but first I’m going to give you some background on some teaching from the Christian church long ago on meditation, and how Transcendental meditation is different.<img

Early Teaching on Meditation for Christians

The Early Church had varying opinions and teaching on meditation for Christians, but at that time life was very different. Families lived more conservative lifestyles, and the Church itself was more legalistic in nature.
However, I’d like to share some of those basic principles with you right now.

 

    1. Christian meditation is a reflection the life of Jesus. I always tell new Christians to read the book of John, and then continue studying from there. Digging deep into the life of Jesus and reflecting on His nature, His ways, and His prayer life. He alone is the ONE and only TRUE example. If we model our prayer life and how we interact with others after Jesus we will win. Saint Theresa of Avila wrote a book entitled The Interior Castle. This book is a great portrayal of what it means to reflect on the life of Jesus and the various areas of our life that need attention and what I refer to as, “prayer care”.  She said this regarding meditation, “By meditation I mean prolonged reasoning with the understanding, in this way. We begin thinking of the favor which God bestowed upon us by giving us His only Son; and we do not stop there but proceed to consider the mysteries of His whole glorious life.” This is so true, and the most basic principle of meditation for the Christian Church.

 

  • Christian meditation is NOT related to Transcendental meditation. Christian meditation is taking the Word of God and making it a reality in your life, but there are many forms of meditation and religious practices that don’t promote God our Father or the teachings of His holy Word. Easter religion has had such a tremendous impact on the world, but one thing you should know is that meditation for Christians isn’t about chanting mantras. Meditation should be focused on one area of your life, and in prayer asking God to reveal to you His plan and His way. One key scripture I love is Joshua 1:8 which says this, “ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” God will grant good success to those who meditate on His Word day and night!

 

 

  • What Transcendental meditation is. This form of meditation is focused only on looking within yourself and “detaching” yourself from the world. One of the most common practices in transcendental meditation is chanting. God’s Word speaks clearly against, “vain repetitions” in Matthew chapter 6. This means that every word we speak should serve a purpose; “ But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” If what you do isn’t being done unto God, then it’s being done for the praise and approval of man.

 

 

 

A Great Model for Meditation for Christians

Have you ever heard of Elmer Towns?
He is one of the best Christian authors I’ve read in a long time. His book, Biblical Meditation is the perfect guide for meditation for the church. Towns takes the reader through the journey of biblical examples of meditation found in scripture, and he elaborates on them. There is a basis for each model, and he points you to scripture for each one making it easy to understand God’s plan.
As business owner, I meet a lot of individuals that make meditation a big part of their life. I decided it was time to look into these programs, but I had so little knowledge of them. My biggest concern was whether or not this would be against God’s principles and teaching in His Word.
I did come across a few that offered free demos. I requested one to try out, and the initial demo of course is based upon using tones and sounds to induce a deep state of meditation. The program only teaches you to focus on your breathing and to get into a state of being centered and focused.
I’ve decided for myself that I want to use this to keep me focused, but there is no replacement for God’s Word and the peace that passes all understanding.
Thank you for reading this article on “meditation for Christians”. I hope that you’ll share this with others and help them see how beneficial it can be for them. God does bless meditation, but it needs to be based on His Word and in His ways.