Starting a meditation practice can be intimidating. And it's understandable; the idea of "becoming a meditator" can seem like a big undertaking, requiring years of practice to master. Sadly, this perspective keeps a lot of people from ever giving it a try, and that's too bad, because at the end of the day meditation isn't something to master. It's a practice. You can't be bad at it because it's all bonus credit to begin with. It doesn't matter if you do it in the morning, in the evening, in an epic group meditation space, or in a hotel lobby—or for five minutes or 50.
The bottom line? You don't have to be a meditation master to reap the benefits of a few minutes of silence, and you don't have to be super-Zen, eat a plant-based diet, or use only all-natural cleaning products to be a meditator. Meditation is for everyone. In that spirit, we asked nine real people—who meditate anywhere from once a day to once a week—what meditation means to them. Here's what they had to say: