When I was first introduced to meditation I fell victim to the expectations and voices of those who wanted to teach me. The intensity with which they insisted I needed to sit quietly in certain poses, breathe in certain ways and empty my mind just so irritated me to the point I pushed back and refused to attempt it. I threw up my hands and decided I wasn’t cut out for such a “spiritual path” because I couldn’t endure what they wholly believed was “The” way to connect with my source.
While I may have chosen out of their framework I was still nudged by an inner need to understand meditation. I wanted to achieve this peace they claimed I could find if I would just apply the rigidity in practice.
Insight struck and my opinion changed one night as I chopped carrots for dinner. I was lost and focused on the repetitive nature of the action. Cooking had a rhythm. Just like my breath. My heartbeat. The moment was tangible. My body was calm and my mind was at peace.
How was that not meditation?
People new to meditation tune into their breathing. The nature of the slow in-and-out rhythm can help quiet the mind and calm the soul. Focusing on that repetitive pattern gives the monkey mind something to play with as all the other thoughts slow down and you’re more present in the moment. Here. Now.
The act of counting beads does the same thing. Breathe in with each one. And out as you move on to the next.
You’re bringing a conscious awareness to the moment.
Walking a labyrinth or a path can be a fantastic meditation. Mindfully taking in the beauty around you.
Running. Feeling your feet hit the pavement and the wind in your face as you give in to the forward momentum of your body.
Pottery. Arts and crafts. Creativity in general.
There are so many different ways to meditate and each one provides a unique gift. There is definitely a time and place for sitting in a lotus pose. For sitting quietly and freeing the mind. There are also a ton of other ways you can meditate. I encourage you to find the ones that work for you.
Notice I say “ones”. What works for you today may not work tomorrow. Your mood and energy level feed into your meditation needs at any given time. And whether you have one minute, ten minutes, thirty minutes, or two hours you can easily find one that’s perfect for you.
- When was the last time you took a really deep breath?
- Take a moment to write down activities or moments that encourage that deep breath release.
- How can you add more of these moments to your days?