Get your “ohm” on.
Finding the time to take a few minutes for yourself might seem impossible for most mums. Between getting the kids out the door to school, not to mention organising your own busy days, somehow the hours tick by until you’re ready to repeat the whole process. How on earth will you find the time to meditate? The benefits of meditation are well known — you should feel more focused and calm and sleep better, meaning by taking those 10 to 15 minutes for yourself, you’ve actually made your whole day more efficient. Now that’s something us mamas need to do! What’s more, you can practice some form of meditation sitting, walking, lying down or even eating!
If you can’t make the time at home, schedule a class at one of these meditation and mindfulness centres in Hong Kong.
Gong Bath at Red Doors Studio
Gong bath sessions at Red Doors Studio start with chanting and a few gentle seated exercises. You also set an intention for the session, which will help guide the sound. You then lie down and make yourself comfortable with bolsters, eye pillows and blankets. Then all that is left to do is relax and allow the sounds to wash over you and through you. The worst-case scenario is that it’s a nice nap (what mama could say no to that!), the best-case scenario is that it’s life-changing.
Many people can feel the effect of the gong for a few days after a session. The session ends with yogi tea and brownies. Why try it? The sound of the gongs quickly induces a state of meditation and relaxation that facilitates the movement of chi or prana throughout the body. In effect, the gongs put your body in a state where it can heal itself. The sounds affect every cell in your body on a molecular level. The vibrations eliminate tension and stimulate the circulation and glandular systems.
Enhale Meditation Studio
This meditation centre in the heart of Central allows mums to try out all sorts of meditation techniques. From gong baths to yoga meditations and reiki, there’s bound to be a practice that will add a touch of relaxation to your busy schedule. You can even get your children in on the action with the Kids Mindfulness classes on offer.
Take some time out to centre yourself at this Causeway Bay studio. As well as various types of yoga, Fivelements Habitat offers meditation practices ranging from Beginners Meditation and Soundscapes, to Tea Ceremonies or Loving Kindness Meditations. There is also a spa, holistic healing and the plant-based kitchen Sakti Elixir.
Kadampa Meditation Centre
This is a centre for anyone who wants to learn the essential skills of meditation and practical ways of incorporating Buddhist teachings into their everyday lives. Students here learn how to incorporate the ancient wisdom of Buddha into their daily lives. The teachings are very practical, accessible and easy to understand.
It offers meditation classes, workshops and study programmes with Beginner drop-in classes on Tuesdays in English. The programme includes breathing meditation, prayer and teaching on a Buddhist topic. The teacher then guides a meditation, focusing on what they’ve just taught. The Centre also runs half-day “Learn to Meditate” courses, perfect for busy mums who want to take some time for themselves without committing to regular classes.
Hong Kong Center For Mindfulness
Mindfulness is great for anyone who wants to reap the benefits of meditation without introducing any of the spiritual elements. The Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness runs an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course which includes weekly meetings, a day retreat and daily home practice. Participants learn various skills such as sitting meditation, body scan, movement, eating mindfully and communication exercises. The course emphasises experiential learning through practice.
Diamond Way Buddhist Centre
The drop-in sessions at Diamond Way Buddhist Centre start with an introduction and the meditation is then read aloud by one of the members of the centre. You simply follow the text and try to keep your focus on the meditation. Everyone has different experiences during this exercise and there is no “right” experience to have. The main benefit is finding happiness – the kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on external circumstances but comes from within. Classes are every Wednesday from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.
Meditation made simple: tips for beginners
Ready to dive in and try meditation right now? A good place to start is simply to focus on your breath. Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon be on your way to a calmer, happier, more zen you!
- Find a quiet spot to sit down, either on a cushion or on a chair if your back needs extra support.
- Set a timer for a specified time. Start with five minutes and slowly build your way up to 20 minutes. Having a set amount of time helps your mind to settle.
- Place your palms comfortably on your lap or on your knees and allow your eyes to blink closed.
- Take a moment to make sure your body is completely relaxed. Check in on your forehead, your jaw, your shoulders and release any tension you might be holding on to.
- Just start to notice the breath moving in and out of the body. Feel how your body rises as you inhale and how it falls as you exhale.
- Begin to notice the pauses between the breaths – at the top of the inhale and at the bottom of the exhale. Try to lengthen those pauses.
- When a thought pops into your mind, just acknowledge it and allow it to drift away. It sometimes makes it easier to imagine your thoughts like clouds and see any thoughts simply drifting away.
- Continue to focus on your breath until the timer goes off.
- A nice way to end your meditation is to think of a few things you’re grateful for – big things, little things, anything that fills you up with love. Now let that feeling of gratitude flow through your whole body, and then open your eyes
Editor’s note: This post was originally published by Rosalie E’Silva in January 2018 and was updated in February 2020.