How & Why to Meditate

  reading time: 10 min

Episode 14.

It feels so irrelevant and bizarre to plan recipe posts and look for a house while the world seems to fall apart around us. The pandemic, the inflation, and now Russia (Putin) forcing a war on Ukraine ... It seems so weird and wrong to carry on with life as if nothing has happened, and my heart is breaking when I think about everything that is going on at the moment.

But it's actually the reason why I decided to make an extracurricular blog post today, and tomorrow as well.

And I know that there are always wars and terrible things taking place somewhere in the world, and perhaps it is also somewhat problematic that this particular war seems to get more public awareness and support in Europe than perhaps other wars that took or take place elsewhere. But I don't want to ignore the "military operation" (murdering) causing the suffering of innocent people that currently takes place only a few countries away from where I live. Don't we have enough uncertainty and pain already? It just won't get into my head how somebody (Putin) could start a war in times like these where there is already so much suffering globally – or actually, why war is even an option in our world still. I'm almost 100 % sure that no citizens ever wish war upon themselves, and I think it is just so weird and unfair that governments get to start a war without their citizens' consent. In what way is that in the interest of the people??!


Today I wanted to share information about meditation, and how we can use it to navigate our feelings in times like these. While there are other, more concrete things you can do to support the Ukraine such as donate clothing or money, offer help for emergency shelters or take in refugees, demonstrate peacefully, to name a few, there is
one thing I think we can all do right here, right now. And that is to do our best and pull ourselves out of the bubble of fear and instead remain capable of action instead of spiralling into panic and depression.

If you feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of the current events, and obsessing over the news adds nothing productive to you or anyone else, take a step back and concentrate on the healing energy of hope, love, compassion. By connecting to that higher power inside us and all around us we can shed at least a little bit of light in these dark times.

A simple method to activate the power of love is to think of your children or someone you love unconditionally. This will immediately pull you out of fear, and into a higher frequency which you can then use to help others.

Everything that connects you with the universal energy serves this purpose: prayer, meditation, music (for example this powerful song One Day by Matisyahu aka Matthew Paul Miller), singing, dancing, nature, love.

A war is nothing you can just "meditate away", and I don't want it to sound that way. But I think acting out of love and (inner) peace instead of acting out of fear and hate is the only way we will ever achieve outer peace as well.

Let us believe in the power of love, compassion, and unity. Let us believe in the good in humanity. Let us believe that one day there will be no more wars.

At least for my part, I believe in it 🕊


I am not a physician, and the information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

What You Will Need For This Method

  • something to sit or lie on: a cushion, a blanket, a chair, the floor
  • your body
  • optional: a timer
  • optional: headphones

You can also do this meditation practice walking or standing, if it is urgent and you don't have the option to sit down or lie down.

The great thing about meditating is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. It doesn't require any special equipment or space, and you'll only need a few minutes – even one minute – to practice it.

The Benefits of Meditating

Meditation has a plethora of wonderful benefits for your mental health, emotional health and ultimately even physical health:

  • it reduces stress and inflammation response caused by stress
  • it improves stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia
  • it reduces anxiety levels
  • it increases mental resilience
  • it can lead to improvements in depression, distress and pain
  • it enhances mental clarity and focus
  • it strengthens and lengthens attention span 
  • it helps develop mental discipline and enhance will power
  • it can help to get rid of addictions
  • it improves sleep
  • it increases creativity
  • it helps improve self-awareness, self-image and a more positive outlook on life
  • it can increase kindness and compassion towards yourself and others 
  • it can decrease high blood pressure
  • it may reduce age-related memory loss

You can read more about the countless benefits of meditation here or here.

How To Meditate

1. Decide on which meditation style you want to try. In general, there are two major styles of meditation:

concentrated meditation which focusses attention on a single object, thought, or sound, such as on breathing, a visualization or a calming sound, and
mindful meditation which allows an open awareness to all aspects or your environment, physical sensations, train of thought, any suppressed feelings etc.

In both cases, the "goal" is to clear and calm the mind, and to reconnect with yourself and the present moment.

2. Find a time that works for you.
Meditating in the morning sets the tone for the entire day, and meditating at night helps you shake off any stress from that day and prepares you for a sound sleep. Even if you just sit or lie and breath for 5 minutes every day, you'll see a big difference.

Of course, the longer you spend in meditation, the better. However, you should bear in mind that it's better to spend 5 minutes a day practising than an hour once a week or once a month! As with most holistic health practices, regular practice – for example as a daily habit – is much more effective than one-time use. Perseverance is the key to build up that stamina and patience.

Personally, I have found that 20 minutes every day is ideal for me, as it is short enough for me not to get antsy and stressed about the time spend "doing nothing", and also long enough for me to actually sink down into that deep state of calm. Whatever works for you!

3. Find a place.
It helps to establish a regular meditation spot (and time of day) to build that new routine. For example, you could create a meditation corner in your bedroom, or perhaps it's just a small shelf in the living room that serves as a little altar. Use plants, candles, crystals, photographs, art, books or other things that hold a special, perhaps spiritual, meaning for you. In my case, it's a specific meditation cushion that I always use for meditating, as well as a little table in our living room that holds a plant, a Buddha statue, a clear quartz crystal, a few rocks, and my handmade incense holder. You can find a bunch of inspiring pictures of similar arrangements on Pinterest, for example: here or here or here or here or here or here or here.

4. Find the right posture. Perhaps you've heard the saying: "There is no wrong way to meditate", and that's true! However, the one thing you can do "wrong" when meditating is your posture. A common mistake is to sit slouched or with your back bend or overly elongated, or with your legs pretzeled together tightly which can strain your untrained hips.

In general, you'll want to sit in a tall, upright, but
comfortable position, either in lotus position with both legs crossed,
with your spine being straight to facilitate easy breathing. The common term here is "comfortably erect", so straight, but not strained. If sitting upright on a cushion is too exhausting for you at first, I recommend supporting your back with a pillow, or you could also sit on a chair or your couch.

Depending on the type of meditation you're doing and also what you are looking for, you could also lie down instead (e. g. to wind down after a long day), however, I would generally advise you to find a comfortable seat, perhaps legs loosely crossed, placing your hands on your knees or in your lap.

Keep your head level, tucking your chin down a little to elongate your neck. Gently unclench your jaw and allow your tongue to rest on the roof of your mouth. Relax your facial muscles. Soften your gaze and turn it slightly downward, or close your eyes.

5. L
imit any distractions. Switch off your phone, or set it on silent, close or lock the door,  let others know you'll be out of pocket for a few minutes so you won't be bothered. Do whatever it takes to reduce any chance of interruption. If you like, you can also use headphones to cancel out any disturbances.

6. Use a timer. This can be via a youtube video with a guided meditation or soothing music, or via a meditation app, or via your regular phone timer (preferably one with a soft, gentle alarm). A timer is great to prevent you from wondering how long you have been meditating. Just set the timer and forget about it!

7. Meditate! That's it, just do it. Just sit and focus. Concentrate on your breath or a mantra that you can repeat in your head, or try one of the 10 meditation techniques I've linked below.

Be easy with yourself. A lot of people find meditating hard, they feel like they can't do it, that they can't stop thinking, that they are doing it wrong. But like I said, there's no right way to do it. The way you do it is the right way! Let go of any expectations of what meditation should be like, and let the practice unfold organically.

Meditation is NOT about stopping your thoughts. It's about allowing your thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them, as a neutral observer. And bringing yourself back to that present moment awareness, over and over again. That's what meditation is. It will get easier over time as you strengthen your meditation habit.

>> How To Meditate: 10 Techniques (for beginners and advanced)

How Often Should You Meditate

As often as you can or want! There is no limit to how many times a year, a month, a week, or a day you should meditate. I personally suggest meditating daily, either in the morning or in the evening, or both. A daily meditation practice is essential for looking after your mental and emotional health on a regular basis. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes every day, if you can. (And you can!) If 30 minutes at a time isn't feasible for your busy schedule, you can also do three 10-minute meditations instead, e. g. 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes during your lunch break, and 10 minutes before going to bed at night.

15 minutes every day are also great, or 10, or even as little as 5 minutes. Make it work for you. And remember: The more you practice, the easier it will become.

Let's all take a deep breath together.

Praying for peace on this beautiful earth.