Tools & Tips for Practicing Meditation in our Modern World
A common misconception about meditation
is that it is a lengthy, time-consuming and impossible activity that can only be done on mountaintops (or at least close to nature). And while nature is a wonderful place for spiritual reconnection, meditation can be as easily done in other places like your office!
It is not time-consuming either. Ten minutes of zen time can do wonders for your busy day. The goal of meditation is not to shut your mind down or empty it completely. We are simply trying to quiet down the mad little monkey in your mind. His chatter is relentless if we don’t gag him for a bit!
There are plenty of tools and techniques specifically geared towards helping you meditate while on the move that do not eat up your day. Here are some basic ideas to get you started.
- Apps & Music
If you are worried about outside noises disrupting your peace, then consider using relaxing music or mantras to shut them out. There are also plenty of apps that play nature sounds for as long as you wish to meditate. Some of my fav apps are Headspace and Insight Timer.
- Find a Special Corner
Corners aren’t just for the naughty kids
. Find somewhere out of the way at work or on the train, make sure it is inconspicuous and that you can comfortably sit up straight and get detached from the busy surrounding you. This can be just about anywhere! Designating a special spot can also help you make a habit of fitting a few minutes of meditation in your busy day.
- Close Your Eyes
Closing your eyes is another way to prevent your mind from losing focus, no matter where you are. As always, the point of meditation is to be centered and focused on your true self. Keeping your eyes closed is a good way to avoid getting distracted by the dog chasing its tail or your coworker losing it at their screen.
- Focusing on Breathing
Breathing techniques are a well-known method for attaining rhythm and sense of calm when trying to meditate. Here is an example from bestselling author and spirit guru Gabby Bertstein: gently breathe in through your nose four times and then exhale through your nose on the fourth count. Try practicing it or another light method. There is no need to do anything heavy!
And above all else, always be patient with yourself. There is no one true way to meditate. Some people tell me I just can’t meditate
but this statement can’t be any further from the truth. The moment you recognise you are thinking, you are disconnecting from thought and on your way to meditating. Keep coming back to this every time the mind wonders, ah there is thought again
(separate to you) and you will slowly get closer to your truest self and being able to let go of thought, the one thing people recognise as failing to meditate. Thinking isn’t failure or inability to meditate, thinking is human! It is getting caught up or invested in thought that takes us away from our practise but we can easily come back to it, as soon as we recognise this.
There are so many tools and techniques out there, persevere until you discover the right ones for you. The result should be the release of your anxiety and the worries of the day, not add to it so chill out and enjoy the exploration.
Always remember that one of the goals of meditation is to help you be in full control of your mind. And from this control, you become free from different sources of stress. Each of the little tools and tips mentioned here are good steps to take you towards that goal. Don’t be afraid to experiment with them a little, even during a hectic day at work. It will only take very little of your time and the results of just a few moments of practice can really amaze you.
Happy zen time friends