When I started meditating at university in the early 90s, nobody I knew meditated. It wasn’t talked about anywhere really. The only exposure people got to meditation was from the free books that Hare Krishna groups handed out on the street while smashing pots and singing with their eyes closed- it just wasn’t popular.
More recently however there has been an explosion of interest in the west. People like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg introduced secular, scientific methods of meditation to America that have spread far and wide across all sectors of society.
In the last couple of years Dan Harris’s down-to-earth books on Meditation have become popular. Dan Harris is an American news anchor, who found mindfulness meditation after an on-air meltdown.
He’s written a couple of books and describes meditation as a superpower – which I like. In one of his videos he mentions that before ‘exercise’ was mainstream in the 1940s, if you said you were “going for a run”, people would ask “who’s chasing you?” Science has proven the clear benefits of exercise since then and the rest is history.
Meditation is a lot like exercise, the benefits are so clear and scientifically provable – that it seems to be only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream. People know they should exercise and feel a bit guilty when they don’t -meditation will be like that one day too.
Here’s a short animation narrated by Dan. It’s an introduction to Meditation. It describes the basic method and what to expect. Dan’s style is informal and to the point. He’s funny too. If you haven’t tried meditation before perhaps this might inspire you to start.