In current times of pandemic when we are urged to practise social distancing (although we prefer a term “safe relating”, as suggested by Prof. Paul Gilbert) in order to keep each other safe and healthy, much of our work, personal development activities and personal relations have moved to the online space. Even if government rules permit in person gatherings of various sizes, many of us think twice before coming back to gyms, yoga studios or group meditation classes.
It is still uncertain how long such state of the world will continue and if at all we will be able to come back to life as we knew it before Covid hit. Therefore, more than ever it is important to take care of our wellbeing. Following mindfulness training or joining a regular meditation class is one of the best ways to do just that. But what if you’re not comfortable joining an in person session or cannot find an accessible one? Consider embracing the online medium! But what is it like joining an online mindfulness class?
Well first of all it involves live guidance of a teacher and real presence of participants. As you settle onto your cushion, chair or mat at home, the shared online presence is being created as well. Some people like to share their screen (we don’t mind that pile of laundry in the background and surely welcome your cat crossing the keyboard), others like to stay in the shade and that’s OK too. A sense off common humanity is being created as we embark on the exploration of the present moment and our unrully human mind together. At the end of the practice there is always time to reflect and share our experiences (if we feel like), and maybe learn something about ourselves.
When I first joined an online meditation years ago it was a strangest thing, mainly because I was used to my computer screen being the source of distraction (think social media, ads and banners poping up, notifications and reminders). It was unusual to have soothing instructions coming from this familiar source of distraction. It may take a bit of adjustment. Sitting a little further away from your computer and relaxing your eyes can help, as well as muting all notifications and dimming the screen. The greatest thing is that you don’t need to travel to join a class, you can tune in from the comfort of your home, even wearing your pyjamas.
However challenging the current times may seem, let’s look at the hopeful prospect – making mindfulness training more accessible and connecting humans at distance for live guided practice. What an opportunity to train the mind and boost your wellbeing! If you are interested in mindfulness practice online, make sure to check out our Weekly Meditations and 8-Week MBLC course starting this Autumn.