The Guilfordian

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Book uses meditation as counter to stress

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Book uses meditation as counter to stress

Looking for a way to de-stress before midterms?

Though at this point in the semester you might be considering pulling your hair out or developing your own extreme methods for coping with stress, I instead recommended checking out author CM Hamilton’s debut book “Meditations: 50 Meditation Techniques.”

In his book, Hamilton, who has more than 20 years of experience practicing and collecting meditation methods, has compiled both techniques and tips for “starting, improving and maintaining” meditation practices.

Something especially important for college students to know is that not only can meditation help reduce stress, it can also help you control anxiety and promote your emotional health. So, how can you get started?

The book is incredibly mindful of how varied readers’ understandings of meditation can be, despite Hamilton’s obvious expertise. In fact, Hamilton’s book works well as a guide for intermediate and adept meditators as well as newcomers to the practice.

Though early on in the book Hamilton suggests that “50 Meditations” doesn’t need to be read in chronological order, I’ve found that reading the book from cover to cover is best for beginners like myself.

In fact, the contents of Hamilton’s book, which defines meditation as a way to “improve concentration, reduce stress, gain perspective and increase well-being,” are broken up into three categories for better ease of access: “focused attention,” “monitoring/mindfulness” and “intentional thinking.”

If this still sounds overwhelming, I guarantee that Hamilton’s book is indeed an easy read for anyone trying to get a grasp on the concept; from the introduction and the basics of meditation to more advanced techniques and tips for maintaining meditation practices.

The majority of the book, which is dedicated to defining individual meditation practices, is presented in a step-by-step format for the sake of simplicity. However, not only are the techniques featured in Hamilton’s book broken down into steps, but each page also includes a summary and a suggested time limit for every featured technique.

Finally, the book wraps up with 25 tips for either improving or maintaining a meditation practice now that you’ve been introduced to the subject and its benefits.

Like the rest of the book, this section’s best asset is that it doesn’t take any liberties with readers’ prior knowledges of the process, as Hamilton, even this far along in the book, is willing to break down phrases and practices with definitions and helpful examples.

Overall, this is an excellent book about how to begin, improve or maintain a meditation practice which is easily accessible to anyone interested in meditation, and I highly recommend it to the highly-stressed, midterm-bound students at Guilford.

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