There are still plenty of us out there that either haven’t tried meditation or can’t sit still long enough. Jennifer shares some tips on how to turn out daily routine actions into meditation. Now that is something we can all start with, right?
Meditation is a necessity for all of us. Just five minutes daily of silence and calm makes a positive difference in our lives. Huffington Post published an article about the benefits of having a daily meditation practice, and one thing surprised me: People on blood pressure medicines were able to reduce their amount of medicine due to a significant decrease in their blood pressure levels.
However, traditional meditations may not work for some of us. Even for those with much experience meditating, sometimes the concentration to be still is hard to find. I often find myself trying so hard not to think during the meditation that I end up focusing on my frustration at the never-ending stream of thoughts flowing through my mind. I also often struggle with sitting still in one place, even for a short time.
But because I have experienced first-hand the benefits meditation can bring, I keep at it, working to perfect my technique daily. And as I practiced, I began thinking about the act of meditation and Zen principles of being present. Why can’t meditation, like Hatha (physical) yoga, be performed with fierce presence? And why must it be performed sitting or lying still, hands perhaps in one of the often-used Mudras- hand positions. I began considering how we can turn daily, routine actions into meditations.
1) Bathtub Meditation: Bubbles, candles, bath oil, dim lights. Make yourself comfortable. Shut your door, leave the phone out, and just lay back in your bathtub. Connect with that warm water. Feel it seep into your skin. Let every single muscle relax. Close your eyes. Breathe in and out.
2) Shower Meditation: A bathtub meditation might not be a daily event, but a great replacement for the bathtub is your shower. Put some essential oil such as lavender on the shower floor, close to the shower drain, so that when the water runs out, the scent of the lavender oil will be released, helping you to relax while you focus on your breath moving in and out, in and out.
3) Candle Meditation: Similar to traditional sitting meditation, adding a candle might be especially helpful for those new to meditation because it gives you a specific object on which to focus. Light a candle and, while sitting comfortably, concentrate on the heat and energy of the candle. Do not latch onto any passing thoughts. Simply let them pass through your mind and stay focused on the flickering candle.
4) Art Meditation (for example, writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, pottery, and jewelry-making): Pick an art method or two with which you are comfortable or have a desire to explore deeply. For example, I like to write, paint, and draw. So every day I alternate the type of art I do. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I write. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I draw. And on Saturdays and Sundays, I paint. As you enter the repetitive motion of the pen moving across the paper, of the wheel going round and round, your mind will gradually relax, and you will find yourself moving the chaos in your mind and feelings, and thus in your body, outside of yourself, into your work. You will finish this process feeling peaceful yet refreshed at the same time.
5) Walking Meditation: All of the meditations I have described are mind- and soul-healthy, but this last meditation is heart-healthy for you, too. Take a nature walk, or if you live in a city, go to a park or even a section of downtown that you really like, and take time to connect with trees, the ground, the air you breathe. Do not talk to anyone. Do not text anyone. Just walk and let your mind drift.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
It took me a while to finally accept that I’m different from everyone else and I should not adapt myself to the society norms. So what if I am not thin? As long I am living a healthy lifestyle. So what if I don’t want to wear a dress and heels? As long I have clothes to wear everyday. I should be living the life I want, not the life the people want me to live.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate the fact I am still alive and being given a second chance to reclaim myself. Not many people are lucky like me and I am grateful for that.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
My most rewarding achievement is that I exceeded everyone’s expectations of what a Deaf person can do. I have many goals, still…but, if I have to pick one goal and that is educating the world about the most important things in life.
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
Do I really have to tell? Okay, procrastination is my “not-so-perfect” way, probably the reason why it took me long enough to finally realize I need to start reclaiming myself at age 26. My imperfections are: biting my nails and being a worry wart.
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my mind, I cannot believe that I came up with this article. So eternally grateful for that creativity part of my brain doing the hard work for me.