Car repairs, office politics, traffic jams, food shopping and washing up. This is just the beginning of what most of us contend with on a daily basis. Worse still, we seem to have accepted this as normality.

Living for the weekend has become a way of life for us Brits and kudos to anyone who has found a way to switch off from the nine to five stresses. For most of us winding down is an elusive Mecca, a fable passed through so many generations we wonder if there’s any truth in the concept at all.

If, after an hour long soak and a crisp glass of Chardonnay, you’re itching to check your emails, file your statements or redecorate the kitchen it’s probably time for a re-think.

The method of meditation has been practised for hundreds of years and the health and social benefits are doubtless. Buddhist Monk and meditation teacher, Gen Kelsang Pagpa believes that it is the only way to achieve true well being.

‘Buddha taught that it is possible through meditation that we can eliminate all our mental problems in order to achieve inner peace’ says Pagpa.

Meditation classes are designed to calm the mind and gain clarity and perspective and once you’ve mastered the basics the methods are entirely transferable to everyday life.

‘Anyone can meditate, whether it’s once a week or once a day. The more you meditate the more peace you experience, and problems become easier to overcome.’

Teachers of meditation at the many Buddhist centres across the country are incredibly understanding when it comes to novices and happy to help people from all walks of life, regardless of background or religious beliefs.

‘Meditation doesn’t depend on being a Buddhist, instead it depends on people wanting to solve their daily problems.’ Said Pagpa.

While many myths border meditation, the benefits are vastly real. This ancient technique is said to be a safe and simple way to balance your physical, emotional, and mental state, it’s been scientifically proven to help combat stress and stress related illnesses such as high blood pressure, insomnia and heart disease. As a result, more and more doctors are promoting meditation as an option to combat such problems.

Weight loss, self-confidence, depression, headaches and energy deficiency are just some of the areas that are said to be improved by meditation. Pagpa tells us that the first step is to envision yourself as a peaceful person.

‘What would it feel like to take a complete break, stop let go of mental burdens and stress, to feel peaceful, calm and happy? That’s priceless. Investing a bit of time in accomplishing this goal, is very worthwhile.’

Weight loss, self-confidence, depression, headaches and energy deficiency are just some of the areas that are said to be improved by meditation,

Antonia Charlesworth