An Effortless Meditation Style
When Palma Michel was living in Asia, working as a board-level headhunter, she found meditation — and everything changed. Now, the mindfulness-based awareness coach helps others tap into the potential of their mind.
Here, she talks about her greatest inspirations, the joy of operating from a place of presence, and how she found a meditation routine that works for her.
Q: How did were you first introduced to meditation?A: My stepmom introduced me to yoga when I was 18, and there was a meditation practice at the end of each session, but at the time, I always fell asleep. Much later, when I was a busy executive living in Asia, I deepened my meditation practice. When I did my first one-hour meditation, it was like coming home, and I became addicted to meditation.
Q:How did you find your meditation style, and why does it work so well for you?
A: I practiced most of the styles out there, from Vipassana to Vedic meditation, ascension, awareness-based practices, noting practices, Advaita-based practices, and many more — all of them inform my work now.
Eventually, my practice found me, as I had an energetic awakening in 2012. I allowed the energy to guide me for a long time and rested in awareness, observing the energy into deeper and deeper realms of experience. Since 2014, I have primarily rested in awareness and beingness and deepened into that space, which is a natural and effortless way of meditating and being in the world during the day.
Q: What’s your top tip for a beginning meditator?
A: Don’t try to do anything to your thoughts or silence your mind. Having many thoughts in meditation is normal! Just try your best to continually return to your object of focus (if it is a focus-based meditation) or observe the ebb and flow of your thoughts without judging them (if it is an awareness-based practice).
Q: Who’s had the most significant impact on your work?
A: Professor Richard Davidson for neuroscience; Adyashanti for awakening, post-awakening, and embodiment; and Syd Banks and the Three Principles for pointing everyone to their true nature and explaining how the mind works.
Q:What are the greatest benefits you’ve received from meditating?
A: Meditation has 100% transformed me and benefited all areas of my life. It was like coming home, noticing that the safest, most peaceful, joyful, most loving place was inside of me and is always there, irrespective of my thoughts, feelings, and what was going on in the world.
Not only did I realize that this place was inside of me, but it was in everyone and that we are all connected and all ONE. Meditation has allowed me to fully inhabit my body and feel my inner aliveness at all times; my day-to-day experience is now of foreground silence, and thoughts have faded into the background.
As a result of operating from this place of presence, everything feels quite effortless. I have become more creative, my relationships have become more profound, I look younger, my health is much better, and people even feel that I have a calming effect on them.
Header photo: Jasmina007/Getty Images