Find your peace through meditation

Donate Today Buy This Video

While the idea of meditation sounds very appealing, in today’s busy world – replete with many distractions, especially in the digital space – the practice of meditation feels like a daunting task. The good news is that it’s easy to get started, and by working to establish it as a habit, the effectiveness of the practice will increase over time, as will the benefits.  

Meditation is a beneficial life skill that helps individuals focus their minds, train their awareness, and perpetuate an ongoing calm state, regardless of what is happening in the space around them. It can be helpful for anyone, regardless of age, to learn how to be responsible for one’s own thoughts and emotional responses. Not not only does meditation help to calm the mind, but it also creates a beneficial physiological response, such as a lowered heart rate, and can improve the symptoms of some stress-related medical conditions. 

Perhaps the best thing about meditation is that it can be practiced anywhere and anytime without needing equipment. You can sit on the floor, relax in a chair, and practice while stuck in traffic – many situations and opportunities are ripe for practicing meditation and introducing calm to everyday life.

Four pillars of meditation

While every meditation instructor may have a slightly different approach, the goal is the same. For Jitendra Desai who teaches meditation classes for youth and adults at the Naperville Park District, he bases his instruction on four main aspects: 

  1. Exercise, which refers to the practice of meditation itself and is closely related to aspects relevant in the practice of yoga
  2. Being conscious of breathing and its purposeful nature, which is directly tied to the ability to calm the mind and manage distractions and external influences during the practice of meditation
  3. Relaxation comes from the ability to control both breath and thoughts to achieve a calm and peaceful state
  4. Lastly, meditation, if it becomes a regular practice or habit, has the ability to transform your state of mind, health, and daily well-being

In fact, according to Jitendra, regularly meditating for 10 minutes a day has the potential to replace one hour of sleep a night. So, if you’re typically getting 7 hours of sleep if you are meditating routinely, you would feel refreshed after only 6 hours of shut-eye. Incredible!

How to meditate

The most difficult part of meditating is carving out a segment of time to practice disciplining your mind, particularly for beginners who likely would benefit from a quieter space. However, once you begin to master transcending the noise and the chaos around you, the opportunity is there to channel peace and harmony. 

If meditating sounds interesting but challenging at best, start small. Jitendra says to start with just one breath. Close your eyes, focus on taking a deep breath in, and then gradually let it out. Try it. If it feels good, take a second breath. This simple breathing exercise works to calm nerves, refocus thoughts and maybe even provoke a smile from the peace you’ll feel. Take it from me – someone who’s undoubtedly a Type A individual with many tasks, ideas, and anxieties perpetually on my mind. While I don’t know if I could meditate for long periods of time, the good news is that committing to just a few minutes each day is beneficial. Meditation has the ability to help you find calm amid the everyday stresses that life brings, and I think we could all use a little of that these days.

To learn more about the Naperville Park District’s meditation classes and other programs, visit