Thursday, 4 December 2014

Three Ways to Meditate Anywhere...

As I write, the holiday season is fast approaching. In other words, just the time when various kinds of stress can make it hardest to meditate, and yet that very stress makes meditation the best idea in town.

Watercolour Mandala Snowflake Design
So it seems like a great time to share three ways you can meditate anywhere (yes, even if there are other people in the room and you can't get any privacy). But bear in mid they'll work at any time of the year and whenever you need to get into a more meditative state. And the best part? They're all easy, quick and free.

Technique One: Concentrate on Your Breathing

Yes, the old ones are (sometimes the best). But let's face it, however stressful things get, you should at least always still be breathing... To carry this out, just focus on your breath however it is for you, as it enters, passes through and leaves your body, for as long as it takes to feel more relaxed.

Tip: This can be done in a crowded room just by falling silent for a while. But  appearing to doze off (which is often fairly easy after big family-type meals...) also works well.

Technique Two:  Focus on something you appreciate

This could be a person you love, or any element in the room, such a pretty flower or candle. Even something as simple as winter berries in a bowl are likely to be enough, if you enjoy looking at them. Flickering firelight can also work well, if available.
Picture of red  Christmassy berries 
Tip: This meditation technique does work if you focus on an animal, but be prepared to hold the feeling internally only if your beloved pet wanders off...

Technique Three: Focus on the "space between," physical people and objects

This is the quickest and easiest of all to carry out. The best way to explain it is by example.
Painting by BoundingSquirrel

Suppose you were originally looking at this seabird, for instance. To carry out this meditationon technique, you'd focus on the sky, not the bird.

Tip: If you do any kind of art, you might already be familar with this idea, as essentially, you place your attention on "negative space" instead of defined people or objects).

Focusing on the "space between",  may seem simple, but it has heritage too, having originally been (if my understanding is correct) a Native American practice.

So there you have it. Three simple ways to feel calmer that don't even need your tech to work. But take care. You may end up enjoying them so much that they become an easy and natural part of your day all year round...

If you already have a favourite way of keeping meditation going during the holiday season (or any gathering) please do let us know in the comments!