Back in May 2016 Ben and I completed a month-long daily meditation experiment, which proved to be a massive game-changer for me. Before we started I had in mind that meditation was this complex, highly spiritual ritual that was vaguely intimidating. What I actually discovered was that it didn’t need to be complex at all, and the benefits of spending even a few minutes a day in meditation were too good to overlook. Ever since, meditation has been a regular (or mostly regular, some weeks) part of my daily rhythm.
Over that first month I also started to see the impact meditation had on other parts of my life – specifically (and surprisingly) my confidence and clarity of mind – as well as the sense of calm I carried throughout the day.
When I talk about meditation though, there are a handful of common responses from people:
- they’re skeptical of its usefuness
- they dislike the religious or spiritual connotations of the practice
- they don’t have time to meditate daily
- they’re scientifically minded and want proof of its effectiveness
Knowing how transformative meditation has been for me, I want to work to disprove some of these ideas, but as an amateur, I’ve never had the experience to back it up, so when I met Kevin Janks at an event recently and got talking to him about meditation, I knew he was the person to talk to.
Kevin used to struggle with anxiety as a result of a fast-paced, hectic, successful life, and was introduced to meditation by his partner. Initially very (very) skeptical, Kevin eventually conducted his own meditation experiment and couldn’t deny the positive benefits after only a day or two. Since then he’s travelled to India to study many elements of meditation, and in 2015 opened Centred Meditation – Sydney’s first drop-in meditation centre, right in the CBD.
He now spends his days helping stressed, overwhelmed professionals learn the process of meditation, and sees daily examples of the power of simply being present.
We had such a great conversation and speak about his entry point to meditation, the benefits he personally has experienced as well as the changes he sees in clients who practice at the studio. We talk about the difference between cynicism and skepticism when it comes to meditation, the value of mindfulness techniques in addition to (or instead of) a formal practise, and the way meditation has impacted both his relationships with others and himself.
I hope this week’s episode convinces you to give meditation a try, and I’ve included a list of resources below that could help you get started.