“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
Meditating even for just two minutes every day could help reduce your anxiety, calm your mind, and energize the senses. That’s two minutes of your twenty-four hours. Two minutes that could lengthen your life as you get rid of the negative energy surrounding you and welcome the positive.
Contrary to what you may think, meditation doesn’t have to be in an empty house or room overlooking gorgeous scenery. It would be a bonus, yes, but I have proven that you can clear your mind even while doing these seemingly mundane tasks.
Let me share with you my not-so-secret ways of meditating that have always drawn more than their fair share of curiosity simply because they’re not among the most common practice.
1. Riding the bus or train to work.
I used to commute a lot. On some days, I would people-watch—create stories in my head about the people I commute with. Most of the time, I would listen to music. Until one day, while one of my favorite songs was playing, my mind just drifted away.
I wasn’t even concentrating, not even paying attention to my breathing. I just felt a sense of calm wash over me. That has been one of the most peaceful five minutes of my life.
Use long stretches of travel to meditate. A five-minute journey into your self wouldn’t make you miss your stop. Instead, it will help reduce the noises of life so you can easily receive the signals that have meaning.
2. Eating a meal.
How could you meditate while eating a meal? I can hear that question in your head. For some of us who are used to eating with the whole family, or with a big group during lunch at work, it may seem highly unlikely, as we love exchanging stories and how-our-day-has-beens.
You don’t have to keep quiet when you meditate while eating, though. You can be with family and friends but still be able to achieve that calm to silence any turbulent thoughts you may have. Eating has become a hurried, mindless task for most of us that it has been reduced to open mouth, shove food, and swallow.
Smell your food, feel its texture as you chew slowly. Is it tangy, too sweet, or too salty? The trick is to be in the moment, being aware of the sumptuous feast before you. Savor it. Enjoy it as it goes down to your body to nourish it. Eating is not a race; slow down.
Once you have mastered this, you’ll find that eating has become more pleasurable. You’ll also discover that you’ll eat less, as you are more in tune with your body’s needs.
3. Taking long showers.
They say some of the best ideas come up in the shower. Maybe it’s because showers don’t only cleanse our physical body but our mental state as well. The spray of the shower, the smell of your favorite shampoo scent all these contribute to the wonderful feeling of being one with the universe.
When I am feeling particularly troubled, I soak in the tub for a good fifteen minutes to soothe tired muscles and confused mind. The warm water entices the soul, helping draw the bad energy away so you are left with renewed spirits, being able to welcome great ideas.
4. Dancing to your favorite tune.
Dance or kundali meditation is one of the more popular, albeit a little unusual, ways to meditate. No, it doesn’t involve chanting or keeping still, but it gives you the chance to break free from whatever’s ailing you.
Dancing, while not one of my strongest suits, allows you to let go of the tension building inside your body and get in touch with your inner self. There are actually dancing meditation soundtracks you can move to, but I would recommend something familiar that you could actually sing along with or better associate with for the full experience.
5. Creating Lego figures.
As I have mentioned above, mechanical activities imitate the meditative quality of chanting. I have found, during one of those rare times I actually sat down and tinkered with my Lego pieces again, that it’s a great way to lose one’s self.
Once you have poured all your attention into all the details of your creation, you block out noise and ignore the rest of the world. We practice meditation to promote relaxation and build internal energy or life force. Taking all your Lego pieces to assemble something out of it is a great and fun way to de-stress.
See, not too bad, yes? We can all have the time to take leisurely baths or take pleasure while having dinner. Commuting doesn’t have to be such a torture. We can use these activities to go deeper into the recesses of our mind and body and find that inner peace we need to be more productive and energetic.
Photo by Misha Masha