We had the treat of having Jen Smith from Mandala Meditation at Rocket today, as part of our fantastic Rocket Boost initiative, for a lunchtime session teaching us all how to find our inner-zen…in a constructive way! I don’t know about you, but if I’m told to clear my mind, quite often completely the opposite will happen. The act of calming my mind actually becomes a rather stressful experience while I battle my inner voice, which rather than appreciating calm is wondering what’s for dinner, whether I’m the only one who finds this impossible, and whether the teacher actually is a totally zen individual or has a secret anger management problem.
The act of calming my mind actually becomes a rather stressful experience
Mandala meditation turns this on its head. Rather than requiring total quiet and relative inactivity, mandala allows you to create, listen to music, even have the TV on in the background, whilst allowing your mind to turn off from the daily chatter. Through a process of rhythmic, repetitive drawing around a cyclical chart, you gradually move into a trance like state through the focus you have on the task at hand. I loved it! Whilst I still managed to feel slightly pressured that we needed finish our drawings in a finite amount of time (that’ll be the control-freak in me!), I did manage to switch off to the other pressures of the day and came back to my desk feeling refreshed. I can totally see how this is the next step on to doodling and colouring-in and how a creative action can actually aid concentration.
For me, it made me appreciate that we find meditation in many areas of life and don’t have to always take it on a literal level that we need to find total quiet to reap the benefits. I really enjoy running, and whilst I realise that in more recent years this has slowed to more of a ‘hoppy walk’ than a sprint, I actually still do it for the mental benefits as much as the physical. It’s my time out away from the chatter. Other people find this in yoga, fitness classes, cycling, painting, sewing and knitting…it’s the repetitive tasks we enjoy that allow us to switch off from the everyday and give us real enjoyment while we’re at it.
So, whilst I might not be turning to mandala, I’m definitely going to make sure I find the time for the activities that allow me to switch off (that have the added benefit of getting healthy too!).
I’m just not good at enforced quiet…now, what’s for dinner?
Lucinda Johnson – Marketing & New Business Director