I love the part in the below excerpt about meditating on a noisy train. This is something I often do, that is, meditate in places people don’t conceive of being appropriate spaces. Meditation is much more about being wherever you are fully in the moment then it is about being in a silent place with no distractions.
While being in a silent place with no distractions can certainly be lovely, healing and necessary at times, it should not rule out practicing mindfulness anywhere and everywhere. Once you learn more mindfulness meditation it can be practiced while doing EVERYTHING including and especially during mundane tasks such as washing the dishes. It can transform those tasks into experiencing life deeply even while doing things you might have at one point thought of just as a chore.
Interested in trying meditation, but still don’t think you have the time? Beginning meditation isn’t as difficult as you might think. So, without taking any more of your time, here are five ways to fit much-needed meditation into your schedule.
1. Keep it short. You don’t have to set aside half an hour; you can start to feel the benefits with even a few minutes of regular meditation. Most advice on meditation for beginners suggests that you start with only 5 minutes.
2. Have a focus. If you don’t think you can focus while sitting with your eyes closed, it’s okay to focus on an intricate object or a candle flame. Or you can close your eyes and listen to music. The important part for beginners is to be in the moment, rather than thinking about your to-do list.
3. Have a regular time – or take time right before you go to bed. Even if you don’t go to bed at a regular time, you can always make time right before you sleep. Your sleepiness might even help your meditation, clearing your mind. And your meditation will certainly help you relax so that you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
4. Try some quick exercise and stretching beforehand. If it’s hard to shift gears from paying bills to meditating, try a very quick exercise routine. It can be as a short as a few push ups and then holding some basic stretches for 10-20 seconds each.
5. Take meditation time where you find it. After a full day of work, heading to my three-hour evening class (and then to helping a friend with a late-night art project), I realized my best bet for mediation time was the train. Of course it wasn’t the best of surroundings, and I was distracted. But I sat down, meditated to the screech of the train instead of to music and left the train much more relaxed and energetic than I had entered it. Take what you can get!
I write more about how I carry meditation into all parts of my life here: Life as a meditation: my contemplative adventure
And even more in this post that looks at being with everything fully — whatever it is that life brings wether we interpret it as positive or negative: the PRACTICE of embracing everything
And lastly it’s important to understand that meditation can bring difficulties to the fore as well. I see that as largely a good thing as one can work through it that way, but there are times when it’s important to perhaps hold off and get other support if necessary. It’s not often mentioned in pop meditation culture that there are risks involved in meditation too: Meditation: not all bliss and roses