Would you like to feel happy and at peace all the time, no matter what?
Yes, this is possible. My response to you is to meditate consistently. Meditation does not mean only the formal sitting down practices. With conscious practice It is a continuous activity that all of us can engage in throughout the day. As simple as being aware of our breathing can quite down the frantic stressed out mind in minutes.
Like many people when I travel I cannot say that I look forward to the traffic during the drive to the airport, the long waits at security, the crowds, the unexpected flight delays and the long queues at the car rental service, which are among the many inconveniences of modern travel these days.
But how do you meditate consistently if you are super busy or in the midst of a stressed out crowd of folks traveling during the holidays ? What if you can’t figure out how to quiet your mind? Or if you simply can’t relax because the environment is simply not conducive?
According to Mike Brooks, director of the Austin Psychology and Assessment Center: “Research shows that a total of 15 minutes of meditating each day for several weeks produces detectable, positive changes in the brain as well as corresponding reductions in stress, anxiety, and an enhanced sense of well-being.”
And if you don’t have a lot of time, “You can get the benefits of a formal meditation practice by weaving mini-meditations into your daily life.”
So today, I’d like to share with you a couple of ways you can meditated throughout the day, without actually sitting down to meditate especially when your body and mind are stressed out. 🙂
1. Walking meditation
Whether it be an exercise walk, or walking in busy crowed airport like I was, or a trip to the local store… allow yourself to turn off your thoughts, to release the rest of your to-do list from your mind and to be present in the moment. Take notice of the details around you – the buildings, the ground beneath you, the trees, the people, the colors, the shapes, the stores, even the noise of the hustle and bustle around you… where ever you are, be present. Taking time out for this awareness will bring you into a meditative and calm state of mind. Try to look at everything with a fresh pair of eyes. Be present to your breath. You will automatically relax and be a witness to the life around you as it unfolds without actively being involved.
2. Eating meditation
When you eat your next meal wherever this maybe, whether in a crowded restaurant, outside, inside… do so in silence and focus on the experience of the different textures and flavors of the food in your mouth. Notice how the food makes you feel as you chew each spoonful. Allow yourself to fully immerse yourself in the act of eating, using all your senses of smell, taste, touch, sight and even hearing. The more you pay close attention to your bodily sensations, your mental chatter starts to quieten down. This will benefit you just as much as if you did a mini meditation!
3. Shower meditation
Most people enjoy doing this without realizing that they are doing a mini meditation. Whilst showering, allow yourself to focus and experience the water washing over and soaping of your body, and shampooing your scalp.. When you combine these actions with listening to the water falling from the shower you get to feel the calming energy of the water. Silence your mind and focus on relaxing as you take this quiet time out for yourself. Many people say that they have the most incredible creative thoughts and breakthrough ideas during their morning shower mini meditation!
4. Listening to devotional or classical music
One of my favorites when I am tired. Never fails to revive my strength! Listening to your favorite classical or devotional music is an easy and sweet way to relax and go within into your heart space. The vibrations of the music will carry you into a relaxed and expansive space.
Bottom line: Meditation’s not what you think. No big secrets, No mantras, incense, bells, strange music, no sitting and no gurus. Think outside the box: Meditation is as simple, natural as breathing.
Sitting meditation is not the only way. Sitting meditation works for maybe 20% of folks. The other 80% meditate in action. They do it without thinking they’re meditating, without even calling it meditation. They do what they love, and whatever they’re doing at the moment can be meditation. When you are at peace, you’re alive.
If there is a secret, the secret may be that you can’t “not meditate,” that’s impossible. We all do it, naturally. It just happens. We do it often during the day, breathing, reading, rocking to music, walking, praying, exercising, sports, affirming goals, working in a positive mental attitude.
Many years ago the great Joseph Campbell, American mythologist, writer and lecturer, was asked by Alan Watts what’s your favorite meditation? Reading. Well, guess what … today … you’ve been “meditating” … here, now … for the past few minutes … reading this newsletter!