Asked & Answered July 2017

"I recently attended a Subtraction Meditation seminar -- what do you know about this kind of meditation? Before I dismiss it, I would really value your opinion. Does this method really work? How do I know if it's right for me?" Dear Low Attraction to Subtraction - I am so grateful you reached out before dismissing meditation after your experience with this particular type of meditation. You can read more about Subtraction Meditation's roots here if you are interested in learning more. When I hear you asking about whether it "works" I find myself wondering what that means to any of us. What is true about meditation according to countless research studies is that meditation changes our brains in very skillful ways - and the type of meditation that is frequently studied is present moment awareness (focusing on the sensations of the breath or the body), open awareness of the thoughts, and compassion meditations (like loving kindness). What is also very true is and well documented in the research is that where we place our attention literally changes our brains. So if you loved your experience with Subtraction Meditation and started to practice daily, I imagine you would get many of the benefits associated with a daily meditation practice (increased focus and empathy and improved self-awareness and emotion regulation) through this practice. What is MOST important is that you find a meditation practice that you can enjoy and make your own -- and your question of how do you know if it is right for you feels very important to me. Did you like or even love your Subtraction Meditation experience? If there's doubt here that it is a good fit for you, I would suggest trying a body scan (click here for a simple 10-minute body scan by Elisha Goldstein) or a breath meditation (click here for a 5-minute breathing meditation from UCLA) and see if those feel like they fit you more. I would also recommend as a free app to use for additional meditations. Let me know if you would like any additional specific recommendations or if there's anything more that comes up! Best wishes on your journey!

With gratitude,

Dr. Gina

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