03/31/2014 01:14 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2014

Why You Should Begin Your Meditation Journey Today

If you’re still on the fence about giving meditation a try, now is the perfect time to start. Kicking off Arianna Huffington’s 21-day meditation journey with the Mentors Channel, HuffPost Live’s Jordan Freeman caught up with a few long-time meditators to discuss how they began their practice and the benefits they have enjoyed ever since.

Emmy Award-winning actress Leigh Taylor-Young began meditating in the late 1960s thanks to her interest in Indian culture and natural, introspective tendencies. She considers meditation to be nothing short of a gift, because it helps her handle the world -- which can be full of surprises -- with grace and joy.

“It’s like a happy machine inside,” said Taylor-Young.

Marcia Hootman, a renowned spiritual teacher, writer and lifestyle expert, discovered meditation out of desperation. After feeling unhappy with her life, she sought out spiritual teachings and, as a result, discovered a mindfulness practice.

“You cannot fix a problem on the same level it was created,” said Hootman. “Fear comes from the outside world… What meditation does is it bypasses the outside world and it gets to your inner core. You find that space within yourself that is never afraid, never feels anything except love, peace and pure courage.”

Watch the rest of what Taylor-Young and Hootman had to say about the powers of meditation in the HuffPost Live clip above.