Meditation: a Beginner’s Guide to Enlightenment


Book recommendations for people wanting to learn more about meditation and the journey to enlightenment.

Maya Shields, Staff Writer

When mediation comes to mind, it’s easy to picture somebody with their legs crossed, hands on their knees, humming the classic “ommmmm.” In reality, there is so much more to meditation than that stereotypical image. Meditation includes a wide array of practices that vary in time commitment and cultural practice.

Mr. Peterhans, Prep’s East-West Meditation teacher explained that ultimately, “meditation leads to letting go, the absence of thought.” Unfortunately, though, letting go is not as easy as it may seem. Meditation takes lots of practice, and it’s not something that can really be perfected. This is because meditation is very subjective. It’s a personal experience between a person and their own Being.

For those who want to know where to start, senior Lauren Slavin has many key pieces of advice. Slavin started meditating at the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine, and since then has experienced immense benefits from the practice. “I absolutely recommend meditation to anyone and everyone, regardless of your belief system. I have learned more about myself through a year of meditation than I have in my whole life,” said Slavin.

A big component of meditation is breathing. Controlling breath, focusing on breath, and allowing oneself to find peace and calm in just breathing. Slavin recommended the following: “Allow thoughts to come up, acknowledge them (do not judge your thoughts or get frustrated when you find your mind wandering), and simply let them pass. Always bring it back to your breath. Feel your body and your sit bones heavy on the ground and use your senses to ground yourself. Acknowledge what you hear, smell, feel, but don’t dwell on or think about these things. Simply let them pass.”

Luckily, as previously mentioned, meditation can look different for everyone. Whether it is the stereotypical cross-legged “ommmm,” prayer at the end of the day, or setting intentions first thing in the morning, meditation ultimately boils down to awareness. Starting with an awareness of self, it helps develop one’s ability to be aware of others, and the impact that one has on others. With a clear mind, one can, as Mr. Peterhans stated, “let go of [the] ordinary flow of thinking.”