In January 2011 I wrote an article titled "Using Meditation As A Constructive Tool." I wanted to add to that piece based on my experiences since then.
Meditation takes a lot of patience to do as everyone who tries it has any number of distractions to deal with. I find it hard at times to meditate at home as the CD collection, books, radio, among other things can find its way into my consciousness. So it take discipline to keep the distractions at bay. But one can always find other places to meditate whether it be inside or outdoors, at home or at a public meditation gathering.
Meditation doesn't make one unusual, better than anyone else or more spiritual than they were before. The more one practices meditation, the more mindful they usually become. A person doesn't need to be anything more than what they already are. We can simplify things by sitting, follow our breath and watch our thoughts.
The mind needs to be calmed so we don't get fidgety. It is amazing how much insight one can get when they are able to sit still for a spell. Mindfulness is important here as it calls for paying full attention to what one is doing at that particular moment. While we can learn from the past and plan for the future, it is only the present that can be fully experienced.
There are many forms of meditation, no one way is better than the other. So one can search for the one that best suits their needs. I find meditation useful in two ways, one for going within, the other for becoming aware of my surroundings. One just needs a quiet place to be in and unwind. Letting go of ones concerns is a must then let every part of your body relax.
One doesn't need to meditate for long periods of time to reap any benefits. One can practice meditation for ten to thirty minutes at a time and still make good use of it. A person needs to be calm and wide awake and avoid positions that has a person run the risk of falling asleep. One shouldn't push themselves to any degree but focus on the breath to relax and stay in the moment.
Mindfulness is an excellent way of coping with the days busyness. I can't see how multi-tasking all day long helps a person. There has been times in my life where I've had my fingers in too many pies at one time. So I took to heart what I heard on The Red Green Show one time, that being do less but do what I do with more gusto.
Mindfulness is being awake to what is happening to your surroundings around you and inside you. There is no reason to "convert" anyone as a person from any faith can use the techniques involved.
One area I found mindfulness useful is eating. I've lost over 100 pounds over the last few years due to several things. One was eating smaller portions of all kinds of food, chewing the food instead of gobbling it down and not do anything else while dining. Eating while juggling phone calls, doing email or getting food for a drive thru then driving off afterwards doesn't help the digestive system process the food.