MEDITATION AND ME
Sometimes we feel we have no real reason to be stressed or anxious, but the expectations and pace of our world often leaves us feeling that way...
I'm Lucy Highton. Eight years ago I was in a happy relationship, with a nice home in London and a job I enjoyed, but I realised I was having a low-level struggle, with bouts of anxiety and perhaps a sense of not feeling entirely in control.
I was seeking some calmness and tools to help myself when I stumbled across an Introduction to Meditation course. From the start, I loved the simplicity; the silence and the roots of compassion it focused on. It was like stepping off the treadmill of life. Peeling off the layers of modern, city life. The group dynamic - perhaps the discipline it gave me - was helpful and although I struggled to focus on meditating when I was at home, the seed had been sown.
A few years after, my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I was thrown into a world of being utterly disconnected from everything I thought to be true and real. I couldn’t possibly contemplate or understand almost anything that was happening, nor dare to think about tomorrow. The mindfulness aspect of meditation really helped me. Just to connect with my breath and the ‘now’ was powerful. Not long after he died, I was on a plane to India for a Buddhist meditation retreat. The structure of ten days of meditation was the best possible thing I could have done at that time. Anchoring me when I was lost. At a time when so many people wanted to help me but couldn’t help at all, an inward journey was what I needed. More of the power of now, to find out who I really was again and to allow myself headspace to heal.
When we slow down, stop, breathe and reconnect we start to notice a lot more. As our minds relax and we open ourselves to what is important and what we want from life.
With that in mind, I gave up my job and home and went back to India, this time for a year. As anyone who has been will tell you, India is wonderful place for spirituality, meditation and community. I meditated with a Hindi holy man on the banks of the Ganges, meditated in an ashram that fused Hinduism with Catholicism, stayed in Buddhist retreats and meditated in caves and on the beach.
After returning to the UK with a sense of peace, I took a diploma in Mediation Teaching with the British School of Meditation, moved to Cambridge and set up White Lotus Meditation with the purpose of sharing meditation with others and helping to create a little tranquillity among the chaos of life.