Book Review: 100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection of Inspiring Daily Practices by Neil Seligman
In recent years, the practice of mindfulness has become increasingly popular in the UK.
Many of the guides written about it, however, can be far too wordy and theoretical, and that’s why 100 Mindfulness Meditations by Neil Seligman is such a joy to read.
Author and corporate mindfulness expert Neil Seligman has deliberately designed the book to help readers self-teach at their own pace, and with their own preferences guiding their journey.
Each meditation is between five and fifteen minutes long so they help even the most time-hungry readers embed a regular mindfulness routine into busy lives.
And in the pressurized, highly-stressful environment of today, this has to be a smart move, as mindfulness has been shown to offer a wide range of benefits from stress reduction and greater calm to enhanced compassion, creativity, wellbeing and decision making.
Very much a practical guide, 100 Mindfulness Meditations is designed to appeal both to the general public and business professionals alike, the latter having been keen to adopt mindfulness techniques to help them perform better in the office.
But serving, as it does, as an excellent reference to the best mindfulness meditations, the book is also an indispensable go-to resource for enthusiasts and mindfulness teachers.
Divided into three parts, the first section of the guide looks at the foundations of mindfulness, which is built on the aim of achieving greater self-awareness and honing the ability to navigate our inner world with the same confidence as the outside world.
This is a concept generally more familiar to the East than the West, where meditation is enshrined in various ancient religions, but mindfulness should not be confused with a religion and does not have any religious undertones.
The author takes readers gently by the hand to explain how to adopt the correct posture, breathing and attitude for the meditations and offers simple exercises to develop a heightened awareness of the current ‘moment’, your surroundings and yourself.
This section also covers emptying the mind, controlling thoughts and letting go, how to be mindful in movements — such as waking, walking and stretching — and how to improve connections between the mind and body.
The second section of the book is on how to incorporate mindfulness into a hectic daily life.
Expert tips cover how to dress mindfully, achieve a mindful tea break, how to be grateful and how to achieve practical kindness.
This might manifest in giving a surprise gift to somebody – a sandwich for a homeless person, for instance – or it might be a service, such as helping someone across the road, or holding open a door.
The key to all these acts, the author says, is to “smile and connect with an open heart”.
The final section covers advanced practices for those who want to explore deeper. Meditations include slowing down, increasing compassion, accessing intuition and recognising that you “are enough”.
Seligman also explores how mindfulness practices can be used as tools during dark times, with insights into how to minimize anxious thoughts, how to deal and cope with pain and how to forgive and let go of the past.
Far from being critical or superior, 100 Mindful Meditations is both supportive and encouraging in its approach, stressing that mindfulness is a skill that once learned will become a rewarding life-time practice.
For those wanting to get stuck right in, this is the ultimate collection collection of easy-to-follow mindfulness practices. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned practitioner, it will soon become your trusted companion.
100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection of Inspiring Daily Practices by Neil Seligman (Conscious House) is available now in paperback, priced £12.99.