The Shape Issue: How to Meditate

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

This spring, rejuvenate by practicing mindfulness-awareness meditation at home. We consulted Janice Glowski, director of practice and education at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Columbus, for three tips on how to get started.

  1. Work meditation sessions into your weekly routine. If you want to be more relaxed during the day, Glowski recommends meditating before work. If you need to unwind before bed, meditate in the evening. You won't need more than five to 10 minutes per session; just devise a plan and stick with it.
  2. Get comfortable and eliminate distractions. Designate a quiet, stress-free space in which you can sit in a chair or cross-legged with an upright spine. There's no dress code for meditation; just ensure your clothes aren't constrictive, Glowski says. "More than anything, it's really important to adopt a kind, non-judgmental attitude toward oneself," she says. "Beginners are so hard on themselves. There's no such thing as a bad meditator."
  3. Reconnect to the present. Focus on breathing and the present time and space-not what happened yesterday or may happen tomorrow. "We're always spinning off into thought," Glowski says. "We're anxious; we have meetings, a big paper or article due. Emotions will be there, and that's fine. There's no suppression in meditation."

Shambhala hosts open public sittings at the Clintonville center from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sundays. Attendees receive instruction during the first 30 minutes of each session, followed by 30 minutes of meditation. On Sundays, instructors hold an open discussion directly following the sitting.