Fortunately, our modernized world brings with it more opportunities to experience the benefits of meditation in new and inspiring ways. This is in addition to the more traditional forms of meditation. Ultimately, there are many different types of meditation techniques, each with varying benefits and it’s a matter of finding what works for you.
Meditation Comes with No JudgementThere is no judgement in meditation. No matter what’s going on in your life and whether or not you are experienced, meditation is there waiting to meet you where you’re at. There is always time, no matter how short, and space to meditate. You will be joining the millions of people going back generations that have practiced meditation before it had a name associated with it. The journey of going inward and exploring the depths of consciousness has always intrigued humankind. There is something to this meditation stuff.
The Benefits of Meditation Are Worth the EffortWhy is it so important to try and incorporate meditation when you’re busy? The fact is, the busier you are, the more you need meditation. If you’re constantly on the go, most likely it’s stressful in ways that are obvious and not so obvious. Mental and physical stress over time can lead to what may have started off as a slight discomfort to issues that can’t be ignored, such as:
- Sleep disturbances
- Digestive complaints
- Emotional problems
- Various bodily ailments
You Have the Time to MeditateIf you can make time to brush your teeth, you have time to meditate. The length can vary depending on how much time you have. If you can only dedicate five minutes a day that is better than nothing—you will still benefit. The idea is that every time you tap into the stillness within, you bring some of that with you into daily life, even if it’s a thimbleful at a time.
Interestingly, meditation creates more time in your life because it allows for the following to occur:
- You are able to complete tasks more efficiently
- You have increased energy to get more things done
- You have more creative solutions to challenges
A New Vision of MeditationDo away with the image of the yogi meditating on the mountain top for hours (unless this is your goal) and insert yourself as the modern meditator who can meditate on the subway, while walking, in between phone calls or meetings, or on the plane. You can make it a simple practice or a big deal, it’s up to you. All you really need is to bring yourself and the dedication to creating a better life or seeing what’s possible.
Getting StartedSo where to begin? With the popularity of meditation in recent years, the information is abundant and there is a lot to choose from, which can be deterring. If you like to use technology, there are numerous meditation apps available. Do you prefer to detach from technology? There are plenty of meditations for that as well. If a meditation style or technique isn’t vibrating with you, try another. You will feel it click once you have found the right one. Be flexible with yourself—you aren’t the same every single day and sometimes you might want a guided meditation and other times simply being in silence feels good.
For those of you living busy and on-the-go lifestyles, here are a few suggested meditations that provide a great simple and easy introduction to meditation. Some require the use of a smartphone and some need just you. Hopefully, this will inspire you to get started meditating today!
Insight Timer (Smartphone Needed)Insight Timer is a great free app that offers many helpful tools besides being a timer. It has expanded to become a great community of people and you can see who’s meditating with you from around the world. It also offers many different types of free guided meditations from well-known teachers.
Walking MeditationYou may usually be rushing to get somewhere, which means your thoughts are elsewhere instead of appreciating the moment. Use this time to instead focus on being mindful. Notice the feeling of your legs moving and the feel of the ground beneath you. Notice your breathing. You can coordinate your walking with your breath. The idea is to bring your attention fully into the present moment. Notice any distractions and then gently bring your attention back to your mindful walking.
Evenflow (Smartphone Needed)Evenflow offers foundational classes to get you started. It includes meditations for a variety of life topics and specific areas you may need extra support in such as relationships, weight issues, and emotional challenges. This is helpful for those who are just starting on their meditation journey.
Ananda (Smartphone Needed)Ananda is an app that offers many options for guided meditations. You can mix and match music to accompany the meditations that cover a variety of topics. The length is usually around 15-20 minutes.
Sensory JourneyYou absorb information constantly through the senses: sight, smell, touch, sound, taste. Take a moment where you simply take in the world around you. The feeling of the salty air on your skin, the cold intake of air through your mouth, the smell of the local bakery, etc. Celebrate the senses! Over time, this develops a deeper awareness of the power of the senses and how it affects you. In addition, an appreciation is cultivated for the gifts of the present moment, which you might otherwise have missed.
RecapitulationThis is usually performed right before you go to sleep and upon waking and takes only a few minutes. This practice not only helps to release baggage from the day but you begin to notice patterns and behaviors which might not be serving you. It encourages more conscious choice-making and better sleep. You can start by doing just the evening practice if that feels more doable.
Just BreatheYou couldn’t exist without your breath; every breath you take is truly a gift. The breath doesn’t exist in the past or future, it only exists in the now. It has the power to immediately calm you during stressful times. Try closing your eyes and simply observe the breath. It will start to slow down and deepen on its own. By taking a few minutes to breathe a few times a day, you can immediately shift your state of being. For more formal techniques, try learning some breathing exercises that can be performed anywhere.
These are just a few meditations you can start with. These can be done in a few minutes or longer and can be performed almost anywhere. As you become more comfortable with your meditation practice or want to deepen your understanding, try attending a meditation retreat or enrolling in an online meditation course. Any meditation practice you choose will start to change your life for the better. You deserve it!
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