Even before we met the four horsemen of COVID-19 (illness, panic, isolation and toilet paper shortages), meditation was a cultural darling. Businessmen are bullish on investing in it, brain scientists are quantifying its effects and Oprah practices it. I’ve dipped in and out of the discipline over the years and found it helpful in a variety of ways, from making me more patient to helping me feel more energetic and break addictive behaviors. And while solo meditation in the comfort of your own home is certainly effective, I find this practice hard to sustain; quite simply, it’s more difficult to focus when I’m home alone than when I am in a class setting. Something about the combined energies of the other meditators together with a teacher make the shared experience more like a warm bath. When I try meditating alone at home, the whole setup feels like the drafty floor time that it is.
But given the events of the past few weeks, some mindfulness was definitely in order. And with going out to a class no longer an option, I decided to try online meditation. Here are a few tips from my firsthand experience.