22 Jun Is Time Actually Wasted Through Mindful Meditation?

-Janice Tang, Hong Kong

For those who are not familiar with meditation, there is a common misconception that time is wasted through mindful meditation when you can spend your precious time with friends and family instead. When I tried to introduce this concept of mindfulness to people in Hong Kong, they literally thought that I was crazy.

Why would you spend so much time practicing deep breathing when you are already breathing every second of your life?

Most of the time, they would laugh it off because the concept seems so bizarre especially for those who live in a city, like Hong Kong, where everything from work, food service to public transportation have to be fast and efficient. People want nothing but quick and effective results.

It seems like though, nobody in Asia would ever practice mindful meditation because the society has always taught them that time is money. I have seen so many of my loved ones rush through life by working long hours to pay for their 15-20 year mortgage. Many live paycheck by paycheck.  They cope with misery at work because they feel like it is their only option.

According to the United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO), 32.4% of workers in Japan are suffering strong anxiety, stress and worry from work. In fact, work-related stress affects people in all professions in both developed and developing countries. The health of employees also negatively affects the well-being of their families, causing a domino effect.

There is a huge opportunity to develop a greater wellness in people through the practice of mindful meditation. The perception is that time is money. But in contrast, money can’t buy time. And money definitely can’t buy health. Mindful meditation is the bridge that connects the two together; time and health.

It is a time to work on yourself, heal some wounds, be present at the moment, and let go of all your worries so you can be free. It is a time to find a balance and peace.

Remember, you first have to help yourself before you have the strength, knowledge and courage to help others.

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