In Everyday Enlightenment LUKE McLEOD aims to provide encouragement, support, guidance, advice and short meditations to help you start, enjoy and embrace your meditation journey. Good Reading asked Luke why he started meditating and what is one simple, beneficial meditation we can all do right now.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Luke used to believe meditation wasn’t for him but has now become one of Australia’s leading meditation experts helping thousands of ‘everyday’ people, just like himself, enjoy meditation in an easy, down-to-earth way.
In Everyday Enlightenment Luke wants to help you find some of that inner peace and calmness without having to move to the mountains and become a monk. Let him show you how the secret to living an enlightened life is hidden within the ordinary and the everyday – it will be one of the best things you ever do.
Q&A WITH LUKE MCLEOD
What drew you to begin to learn to meditate?
It actually had nothing to do with why most people start meditating, that being to either help lower stress or anxiety. It originally got into it to use it as a performance tool. To help me focus better and maintain my energy at work.
What did you find the result was once you were practising meditation? How did this change your life? What were the personal changes for you?
Well at first, as mentioned above, I used meditation for a number of years as a performance tool to help me with my work. Which I certainly noticed that it did just that. I felt I was able to concentrate for longer and was making clearly and more confident decisions.
It wasn’t until a series of difficult incidents happened all at once in my personal life that I discovered how different types of meditation could be used to help me process what I was struggling with emotionally.
Meditation has become a simulator for my life. It has helped me in every area of my life. From not getting overwhelmed by my emotions to being calm under pressure, dealing with loss and grief, appreciating life more and not taking everything that means the most to me for granted as much.
Can you tell us a bit about some of the different techniques of meditation? Do they seek to achieve a different outcome or is it that what works best for you?
In the book (Everyday Enlightenment) I roll up the different types of meditation you can practice into 3 main groups. Relief type Meditations, Healing Meditations and Happiness Meditations. Almost all the different meditation techniques will fall into either one of these three categories.
One can also use a blend of the three different types within one meditation. However, it is difficult to practice a Healing type of meditation, if you can’t comfortably complete a Relief Meditation first. Reason being is that to be able to do a Healing Meditation you need to be able to put the mind into a safe, calm and steady state, otherwise you’ll find the Healing type of meditation too overwhelming and emotional.
A good way to look at this is comparing the different types of meditations to different types of physical exercise. There are different physical exercises that serve different purposes for different people, at different times in their lives. The same goes for meditation and mental exercises for your mind.
What are some of the areas in our lives that meditation can help with?
There’s too many to list. It’s one of the things that pretty much benefit all areas of your life. There are more prominent areas that you’ve probably heard of, like decreasing stress level, easing anxiety and helping you sleep better. But there’s so much more it can do. It just makes you a better human overall.
Can you tell us one simple meditation that everyone can do right now to help with anxiety or stress in the lives?
Any type of relief meditation can provide you with some instant stress relief and/or a break from your anxiety. Note that it’s just a break. It’s not going to fix the problem that is causing the stress or making you feel anxious. Relief meditation is designed to just give you a break from it all. But a break can do a lot. It can calm the mind and put you into a better state of mind so you can tackle what is causing the problem in an efficient manner.
Once you’re ready, Healing types of meditations can start to directly help you target and process what is causing the stress or anxiety e.g. childhood trauma, a difficult relationship etc.
Lastly there’s Happiness types of meditation that are designed to make you feel and appreciate life and all the joys that are hidden in the everyday. These types of meditations can also help replace old, stubborn and negative ways of thinking that are causing you to stress and feel anxious.
I obviously go into a lot more detail about these three core types of meditations and how they can be practiced in the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For over two decades he has immersed himself in the teachings and practices of different meditation philosophies and techniques, including Vedic, Kundalini, Zen, Vipassana and modern mindfulness. Luke is the founder of The Mindful Life app, Soul Alive and works closely with high-performing athletes and executives. He is often invited to speak and consult with global brands on how to understand and implement mindfulness into today’s fast-paced working world.