Earlier this year, I sat down with Becca Williams to experience her practice which she calls ‘unmeditation.’ Williams is a dietician and nutritionist who tailored her program to meet her own needs. She tried to overcome the racing thoughts in her mind through traditional mindfulness meditation but found cutting through the static too onerous a challenge.
Instead, she developed her own program, which she recommends be paired with cannabis (though we didn’t go that route, since this was for work, after all). Sitting down on a Zoom call with Williams, she instructed me to breath quickly and heavily with my eyes closed, with my hands placed on my lap. It was the most vigorous form of meditation I’ve ever experienced. Quite frankly, it felt like exercise, which is kind of the point.
‘My work offers a form of very active meditation that includes powerful breathing patterns, deep resonant sounds, and expressive movements of the upper body, arms, hands and fingers,’ Williams says. In effect, this method intends to ‘respect the fact that the mind is often furiously spinning and challenging to slow down.’
It’s a riff on active meditation, which isn’t exactly a new concept. But Williams has tinkered with her regimen to perform the opposite of the traditional mindfulness milieu, allowing negative emotions to come to the forefront of the mind and be directly confronted.”