Our guide to meditation
Hotcourses Editor

Our guide to meditation

First published date October 30 2013 Amended date May 01 2015

There are many different types and styles but essentially, meditation is a way of accessing the peace and calm that exists in even the most hectic of moments.

By learning simple meditation techniques, you can learn to calm your mind wherever you are and whatever’s going on around you. It’s worth experimenting with different courses until you find a style or technique you can imagine incorporating into your everyday life.


Why meditate?

Meditation has many benefits. As well as helping us feel more relaxed and peaceful, it can strengthen the parts of the brain responsible for decision making and calm the parts responsible for panic and alarm. Some say that on a normal day, they’ll meditate for 20 minutes but when they have an enormous amount to accomplish, they’ll meditate for longer.

Although traditionally associated with spiritual types who live away from the hustle and bustle of our 24/7 modern society, it’s more important now than ever to learn how to calm our minds and allow our whole system to recharge and heal. Meditation helps us to tap into our inner wisdom, boosts creativity and supports physical as well as mental and emotional wellbeing.

Pausing during the day to notice what’s happening in your mind and body can give insight into issues and ultimately, helps us live more fully. As we learn to stay more present with what’s less comfortable, we open our ‘emotional landscapes’ (as Mindfulness Meditating pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn calls it) to all the joys of life and love, too.


What’s next?

While some students know they want to train to teach others to meditate, whatever walk of life you’re in, meditation can benefit. A personal practice could help you ace that job interview or exam by quieting your mind and helping you remember all you’ve learned.

If you choose to pursue it, you might want to train as a teacher of adult education as well as deepening your own study into meditation and relaxation practices. One thing’s for sure – we have one body and brain to last a lifetime. The better we learn to support both (and cultivating the mind through meditation practices is part of this), the more likely we are to enjoy good mental health, memory, concentration and creative capabilities well into old age.


What will the course be like?

You’ll learn tools to meditate in different ways depending on what’s going on in your life. Perhaps you’ll create a small sanctuary in your home for your practice but some techniques can even be used on the train or bus or as you walk.

You’ll find a wide range of meditation courses to choose from around the country and each one is different. Some will help you learn the basics and build a practice for yourself. Others will qualify you to teach this life-enhancing skills to others.


How can I decide?

When deciding which meditation course to enrol on, do your best to leave that competitive, impatient aspect of yourself we all have at home and start with the basics. It’s much better to build on a solid foundation than feeling you should be more relaxed and peaceful than you actually feel. Be kind to yourself as you make your choice. Pay attention to your inner wisdom even as you browse this site.

Which courses make your heart lift? These may be the ones that are best for you at this time. Many teachers will be happy to talk to you to give you more insight into what their courses offer and whether it will be the best fit for you right now.




The following celebrities are well known for their meditation practices. Can you match the quotes to the person?


1.       ‘The thing about meditation is: you become more and more you.’

2.       ‘I also meditate. I took classes and have gotten pretty good at it. I can stay under and focus for 30 minutes.’

3.       ‘In a way, one gets stability from being able to order the rational mind.’

4.       ‘I have been meditating for two years now, and it’s the best thing I have ever done to help bring more creativity, positive energy and peace to my life. When I’m tired, stressed, anxious or depressed, I meditate, and it clears my mind, and makes me feel relaxed and happier.’


a. Richard Gere (actor - Pretty Woman) is a Buddhist

b. David Lynch (director of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet) founded The David Lynch Foundation to get TM into schools

c. Katy Perry (singer) asked people to donate to the David Lynch Foundation instead of giving her presents for her 25th birthday

d. Megan Fox (actor - Jennifer’s Body, Transformers)


Answers –

1.       b

2.       d

3.       a

4.       c


By Eve Menezes Cunningham




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