When wellness comes to mind, one would equate the physical aspect of it. But wellness transcends fitness, and mental wellbeing is integral to one’s holistic health. Today, mindfulness is recognised as the equilibrium to exercise, with wellness warriors like The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, curating retreats, spearheading digital detoxifying Silent Night programs, and inviting prominent gurus like Lena Franklin to lead a weekend of meditation and inner peace.
Armed with an eastern-western approach to spirituality and healing, the mindfulness-based psychotherapist of American and Vietnamese descent integrates science and Buddhist meditation into her sessions, of which we were fortunate to experience on her last visit. Before the session begun, we got Lena to expound about establishing inner peace and balance, and how we can weave it into our lifestyle.
What is meditation and how do you practice it?
Meditation is like doing bicep curls for your mind. I like to say it’s a lifestyle, it’s a way of being and it’s our natural state. We have to peel back the layers to get to our natural state, like unlearning some things we were taught, in order to get to our true selves. It’s not always about establishing a very long seated meditation, it’s about weaving in skills through the day that are portable practices to bring you back into the state of presence.
How can one meditate off the mat?
Even if I’m not in a seated meditation, I have the little tricks and tools to bring my mind back into the present. Besides my mala bracelets as reminders, I’m always connected to the sensory experiences around me. If I’m walking to the car; I feel the sun, the ground below my feet, the breeze. This is a more sustainable way to practice mindfulness.