Ask Me Anything about how to build a meditation practice that sticks

Clarissa Hughes
Apr 12, 2018

Do love the idea of meditating or maybe you've tried but can't seem to get into a daily habit? Maybe you're struggling with sitting meditations and need some inspiration. I'm a certified and experienced mindfulness coach and have been meditating for over 20 years. Ask me about ways to get your meditation going or to get back into to it if it's gone AWOL.

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How does one remain mindful when dealing with aggressive individuals?
Apr 19, 2:10PM EDT0
What is the best advice you've ever received? How did it affect you?
Apr 19, 2:03PM EDT0
Do you have any stories to share about people who didn't believe in meditation and you've proved them wrong?
Apr 19, 4:38AM EDT0

No sorry I don't have an actual stories. 

Apr 19, 5:51AM EDT0
Can someone meditate during their work day? If yes, how so?
Apr 16, 10:26AM EDT0

Absolutely they can. I suggest short meditations like One Minute Meditation from the organisation I trained with (Breathworks) It can help you to bring awareness to how you are feeling and give you a short pause so you can reset and start again

Apr 19, 5:50AM EDT0
Meditation usually requires clearing the mind, Whatisyour advice to people who can't seem to be able to do that?
Apr 16, 5:39AM EDT0

Meditation is NOT about clearing the mind - that's the myth. It is not possible for the brain to be clear of thoughts. In meditation we seek to observe our thoughts like they were clouds in the sky, to acknowledge them and let them go. In so doing the mind feels quieter.

Apr 16, 9:29AM EDT0

Are there any other tools that you think are specifically important for meditation?

Apr 14, 8:48AM EDT0

No I don't we need any specific tools to meditate. Find a quiet place, make sure you are comfortable and then begin

Apr 16, 9:27AM EDT0
What role has Meditation played in your life and in your creation?
Apr 13, 8:46PM EDT0

I've meditated for 30 years. It's my anchor for the day - it helps me to focus, practice gratitude and feel connected to other living beings. I notice if I skip my meditation that my mind quickly becomes bit foggy. 

Apr 14, 6:22AM EDT0
How long should one meditate for? What’s the ideal session duration?
Apr 13, 2:26PM EDT0

I don't advise on optimal times. Usually, we start with 10 minutes a day and work up to 20 - 25 minutes for longer deeper meditations. But if you only have one minute to stop, breathe and check-in then that's also great.

Apr 14, 6:20AM EDT0
Where do most of the meditation techniques you teach come from?
Apr 13, 2:13PM EDT0

I follow adapted Budhhist practices that are non-secular - focused awareness, continuous open monitoring and loving-kindness meditations

Apr 14, 6:18AM EDT0
If people were to look at the factors like wisdom, mindfulness in particular, what would they look like as a practice in conjunction with meditation?
Apr 13, 6:06AM EDT0

Mindfulness is often practiced through meditation - the very act of being in the present moment, aware and non-judgemental is mindfulness meditation

Apr 14, 6:17AM EDT0
What is your understanding of the difference between concentration and meditation?
Apr 13, 5:53AM EDT0

Concentration is an active intention where we focus the mind on a task. In meditation we have no goal, no agenda - the objective is to become a witness, to observe our thoughts, feelings and emotions and accept things just as they are without trying to change them

Apr 14, 6:16AM EDT0

Hi Clarissa and thanks for your answer. I'm only using my gmail and LinkedIn.

Have a wonderful day

Apr 13, 1:13AM EDT0
How should one take the space they find during meditation and integrate it in their daily life?
Apr 12, 6:20PM EDT0

Good question. The way I teach my clients to integrate space into their lives to learn to consciously take short breaks throughout the day maybe even every 30 minutes. Use a minute or two to stop, check-in with their breath and body, notice any sensations, stretch if necessary. When done several times a day with focus and awareness it can help us to feel more connected to ourselves and calmer 

Apr 14, 6:15AM EDT0
Is it better to meditate in the morning or night and why?
Apr 12, 4:31PM EDT0

There is no special time of day that works better - it's down personal preference

Apr 13, 12:11PM EDT0
What are the best postures to meditate and is it okay to meditate in bed to build habit?
Apr 12, 6:23AM EDT0

The best way to meditate is to sit relaxed with the spine upright - a chair or better still a meditation stool are recommended ways to help you achieve this relaxed upright postureYou can meditate in bed but there is always a risk that you fall asleep. But if that's only space where you feel comfortable then give it a go

Apr 12, 8:32AM EDT0
Should one always meditate in the same place and what are the reasons for your answer?
Apr 12, 4:45AM EDT0

It's not essential to meditate in the same place as the focus is more about you than where you are. If you have a favorite place that helps you to stay more focused then of course meditate there.

Apr 12, 8:30AM EDT0
In your opinion why are people finding it hard to balance work and life?
Apr 10, 6:59PM EDT0

We live in a fast-paced world with a great amount of 'noise' calling for our attention. To cope our wonderful brains develop automatic responses. If we live too much on auto-pilot we can become mindless and we are not aware of the various boundaries between work and life. Mindfulness and meditation gives us the opportunity to step back, to gain perspective and to choose how we wish to respond rather than letting our automatic behaviours rule the day.

Apr 12, 4:36AM EDT0
Why is that people's ordinary habit of mind, to always go to the negative? How does practicing meditation and mindfulness change people?
Apr 10, 3:09PM EDT0

We are hard-wired to the negative - it's part being human. Negativity is what helps us to stay safe, so we naturally are aware of danger and our flight/fight mechanism kicks in very quickly even if the actual danger is small. Mindfulness teaches us to develop a non-judgemental attitude, and we learn to hold all our experiences in a wider perspective. That way we don't react but choose how we want to respond to various experiences. From that space, we can shift our awareness to the pleasant without rejecting or resisting the negative. In this way, we develop new neural pathways that are more 'wired' to the positive. 

Apr 12, 4:33AM EDT0
Do you think meditation help students be better at applying themselves when studying or learning in a classroom?
Apr 10, 2:48AM EDT0

I think there is a big difference between meditating on your own and in a group setting. It's easier to meditate for longer with others for support. I usually recommend my clients to meditate at home daily even if it's only for 10 minutes and to look for a local meditation group that meets regularly and join. In that way, they have a daily practice and are developing their meditation practice so that they move beyond just being calm to gaining deeper insight

Apr 12, 4:28AM EDT0
Could you share some of your strategies that people could use to keep more balanced and stick to their meditation routine?
Apr 10, 2:16AM EDT0

One of my main strategies to help people feel more balanced is to pace their day and to take regular scheduled breaks. Set a timer to say every 30 minutes or an hour and stop, breathe, stretch and re-group. It helps us to be less caught up in our automatic behaviour. We can use one of those breaks to meditate - even  A SHORT 3 MINUTES of meditation daily gets you into the mindset of meditating. Best is to se a time (10 or 15 minutes) is ideal every day and choose a quiet place and meditate. Find an app you enjoy like Headspace and do this for at least 2 or 3 weeks every day - you'll soon be in the groove and notice the difference if you forget to meditate.

Apr 12, 4:26AM EDT0
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