Way Too Busy To Meditate? Here's Your Solution!
Free-Range, Free-Style Meditation
Have you heard that meditation is good for you, but just can’t imagine how you’re going to fit one more thing into your hectic day? As a business owner who’s already putting in 10 to 12 hours a day, I completely feel your frustration.
Today I’m going to share with you a method for developing a free-style, free-range meditation practice that you can deploy any time and any place. Best of all? Nobody ever has to know what you’re up to. It’s all very ninja.
Before I go too far, I want to clarify something. I’ll be speaking of mindfulness and meditation in this post. Please note that I use the words interchangeably. As far as I’m concerned, mindfulness and meditation are the same thing.
A couple of years ago when I was first learning how to meditate, I heard some great words from both Sam Harris and Jeff Warren that inspired me to include this as a practice in my day. It’s very effective at grounding me almost instantly, and also gets me out of my head whenever I’m feeling any kind of upset.
I notice an immediate reduction of agitation, anxiety, and stress.
The free-style, free-range meditation concept revolves around the main purpose of meditation which is to learn how to notice your present moment’s experience. Taking time to notice the present moment’s experience unhooks you from whatever story or thoughts are swirling in your head, and grounds you in reality.
So here’s how I do this, and I’m telling you, it works wonderfully.
How To Meditate On The Go
There are many things we do during the day automatically without ever paying attention to them, and these activities form the basis of “free-range” mindfulness practice.
I’m talking about the most mundane tasks we do:
- Washing the dishes.
- Typing something on your keyboard.
- Walking to a meeting at work.
- Studying in the library at school.
- Driving to work or to the grocery store.
- Walking down the aisles at the grocery store.
Think of something you do right now which takes very little of your attention and you can use it as an opportunity to notice the present moment’s experience.
As you think of these things, start to notice that you could easily string together 20 to 30 different things that you do in a day which, if done mindfully, would probably add up to 10, 15 or 20 minutes a day of meditation.
That would be a really nice practice.
The habit of punctuating your day with these interludes actually helps you build practical mindfulness. You get the theory of mindfulness off the meditation cushion and integrate it into your life.
This doesn’t preclude sitting meditation or going on meditation retreats. It just makes the benefits of noticing your present moment’s experience available to you no matter how busy you may be.
Here are a couple of “micro-practices” you can start with. Once you practice these even a little bit, you’ll come up with more of these micro-practices which are completely tuned to your life and your day.
As you’re walking down the street or down a corridor at work, pay close attention to:
- The sounds around you. Try to notice very clearly a particular bird or insect sound if you’re outside. Try to notice all the various sounds in a corridor at school or work. Feel what it’s like when those sounds contact your ear.
- The sensation of the airflow on your face, hands, arms or legs.
- The sensation of your clothing on your skin as you walk from place to place.
As you’re driving in your car notice the traffic from two perspectives:
- Perspective #1 – you, sitting still with the world rushing towards you.
- Perspective #2 – you moving through space and past all the objects in your field of vision.
- Notice the sounds of traffic.
- Notice the sensations of the constantly moving vehicle.
- Notice your visual field as an expanse of light, shadow, and color.
These micro-practices will undoubtedly inspire micro-practices of your own. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Allow yourself to be creative in your exploration of free-style, free-range meditation.
Let me know how you use this and experience it, and until next time…I bid you peace.