July 12, 2016
8 Ways To Meditate Without Meditating, Part Two (4-8)
If sitting quietly in a room and observing a candle is not your thing, remember, we can mediate without “meditating”. In fact, every action and every moment of our day can be a part of one grand meditation when our intention is to practice being fully present for it all.
Schedule 10-15 minutes to just sit in nature. If you live in the city, find a park or a quiet space outside. Touch the earth, take off your shoes, lie back in the grass, or sit in the sun. The point is to make time to sit and be and do nothing. Allow your mind to wander and shift—the idea is to have no “agenda” and to sit and do nothing in a natural setting. Tune in to how your mood and thoughts might shift from the beginning to the end of the session. Do you feel like your life would be different if you spent more time outdoors? Why or why not?
This is similar to the “listening meditation”, only, this time, you will be with another person. Sit and talk with someone for a few minutes with the aim of making them the absolute center of your focus. Really put your personal self aside and point the spotlight of your attention on them. You don’t need to tell them what you are doing, you only need to hold the intention of being utterly present with the person. Observe their voice, their body language, and every spoken word. Hold eye contact and send them thoughts of peace, joy, and love as you converse. Ask yourself, “How is this different from a ‘normal’ conversation?” and “How would my daily interactions with people be different if I brought this energy with me everyday?” Do you notice anything different about the direction and tone of the conversation when you practice this?
You can do this with a meal or a snack or even a beverage. Sit quietly and take each bite/sip slowly, try to taste each and every atom of the food. Be totally present in the sensation of each flavor, texture, and smell. Eat deliberately. Don’t take your next bite until you’ve finished the previous one. Think to yourself about what words you would use to describe the quality of each bite. It’s interesting to try this meditation with different types of food: fast food, earthgrown food, processed food, fresh food, and candy. (Note: Coffee happens to be a multisensory drink that lends itself well to this practice.)
People Watching Meditation
This can be a fun one, and it’s generally stress free. Sit on your lunch break or after work or on a weekend morning and observe your fellow human beings. Put aside your phone, your book, and your to-do lists and just do some peaceful people watching. Listen to your mind as you do so. What thoughts rise first to the surface? How, exactly, do you people watch? What do you notice about others? Are your first thoughts about their clothing, their gait, or their appearance? Do you tune into their mood and their energy? Do you make up stories about who they might be, what they might be thinking, and/or where they might be going? As you watch others, do you gain insight into your own life? Are you someone who can learn about yourself by observing others?
Action: Try exploring your specific style of meditation for three days in a row. Are you someone who can concentrate for long periods of time? Do you generally operate in short bursts?
Are you looking to find greater focus, more balance, groundedness, creativity, and/or peace of mind? Why exactly do you want to meditate? Do you feel like you “should”? If so, why? Are you expecting it to “be” something? If so, what and why?
So, choose a length of time and a style that feels like it suits your general mode of operation. Set your timer and experiment. Keeping an “Meditation Journal” can help with accountability and tracking your thoughts and ideas as they evolve. Remember to practice an attitude of allowing—challenge yourself to go into each session with an open-mind, one in which you allow the experience to be what it is, without trying to steer or control it. Practice just being with it. As it is.
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.