The Mindful Survey: How We Meditate

Answers from our reader survey on meditation.

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What’s your preferred meditation practice?

73% prefer seated meditation, while 5% like walking meditation best, and 10% like the body scan best. 12% would rather use other meditation methods, including running, breathing exercises, or lying down.

Do you own a meditation cushion and/or bench?

36% say Yes , 64% say No

How often do you meditate?

62% of survey participants meditate at least once per day, 12% meditate every other day, and 12% once or twice a week. The remaining 14% do so occasionally or have never meditated.

Do you meditate regularly?

Yes - 85% No - 7% I just started - 8%

Do you encourage others to meditate?

85% of participants recommend that others try meditation. Maybe the other 15% see it as something that’s better to discover for yourself.

Have you ever received instruction in a mindfulness technique?

78% Yes, 17 % No, I am an instructor 5%

What’s your favorite place to meditate?

  • “When weather permits, I love to meditate in the garden; otherwise, my bedroom, where I have a dedicated yoga and meditation space.”
  • “In church.”
  • “At a mosque.”
  • “At a meditation center.”
  • “In a temple.”
  • “In a rocking chair in my bedroom.”
  • “On the beach.”
  • “In a hot bubble bath, with candlelight and incense burning.”
  • “I am in my car 90% of the time, so mostly in the car.”
  • “In bed, before getting up for the day.”
  • “During yoga class.”
  • “Outside of school, waiting for my children to finish for the day.”
  • “In the forest preserve by my home. If I am feeling anxious, I like to meditate under the tree. If I am feeling sad, I like to meditate in a wide-open field—it makes me feel so alive!”
  • “My La-Z-Boy recliner in the living room.”

Do you use a meditation app?

46% No , 54% Yes

Aside from sitting meditation, where and when do you most apply mindfulness in your daily life?

  • “During my work day as a therapist.”
  • “To deal with pain.”
  • “Taking mindful pauses, especially when I’m outdoors. I stop what I’m doing, notice what’s around me, try to tune in to something like a bird call or the wind, and just appreciate that for a moment or two.”
  • “Being more present with my children and husband. Mindfulness has also helped me decompress in Chicago traffic and in the grocery store!”
  • “When dealing with challenging people.”
  • “In my relationship with my son, who is severely impacted by autism, and with my 5th-grade students— it helps me learn who they really are.”
  • “Before bed to help me sleep.”
  • “In the evening, focusing on incidents or experiences to feel grateful for each day.”
  • “Dealing with depression and anxiety.”
  • “When I’m traveling, so I don’t miss the unique details around me!”

Do you have a personal meditation instructor?

89% No, 11% Yes

This article appeared in the April 2018 issue of Mindful magazine.