Saturday, October 5, 2013

Simple Meditation Tips for Beginners and Busy People

The sad truth is that most of us are aware of the benefits of meditation, and yet very few of us actually have a regular meditation practice. Yet this article will show you what meditation really is and give you simple tips for incorporating it into your daily life without changing your current schedule.

So what is meditation? Meditation is about being fully present in the moment and in that moment you are aware of the truth of who you are (beyond your mind, your body or your situation).

Have you ever been in awe of a beautiful sunset so much so that you weren't thinking about what happened five minutes ago or about what you were going to do in the future? And as you took in the majestic sunset, you noticed how you felt really alive inside. You felt pure bliss, joy or peace. And maybe even had a feeling like, It doesn't get any better than this! Well that is meditation!

We often make meditation much more complicated than it really is. Just remember that meditation is about being present in the moment. Therefore, any moment can be your meditation. According to an international survey that I compiled (with results from people in 44 different countries) the biggest obstacle people face in incorporating meditation into their daily lives is: TIME.

We don't have enough time to meditate. (I originally thought this was an American dilemma but discovered that this is a common obstacle for most people around the world). We all have only 24 hours in a day and most of us lead busy lives filled with work, family and other obligations.

Many of us barely have time to workout among the myriad of daily activities that need to get done. Well don't worry; here are three simple ways you can start incorporating meditation into your daily life right now without taking any time out of your current schedule.

TIP #1- Don't Wait-Meditate

Start by converting your waiting time into meditating time. The average person waits 42-60 minutes a day! Think about it: we wait on hold on the phone, we wait for computer programs to download, we wait for appointments and we wait in line at the bank or grocery store.

Yet, those precious moments spent waiting, could be converted to meditating time instead. So next time you are waiting on hold on the phone, take a moment to notice your breath. Or, next time you are waiting in line at the bank take a moment to smile from the inside. While you are waiting for an appointment, notice the aliveness inside your body.

Recently, while waiting for a dentists' appointment I allowed the aquarium in the waiting room to be my meditation. I sat there and noticed the vibrant colors and graceful movements of the fish. So allow waiting time to be your meditating time. If we each did this one simple thing, we'd have a regular meditation practice.

And the other great benefit to converting waiting time into meditating time is that you find you don't mind waiting. I enjoyed being 20 minutes early to my chiropractic appointment because I thought, "Great, I can get in a 20 minute meditation!" Here's what Amy Bush Bradley, a mother of three says, "I think the Don't Wait, Meditate pledge was one of the best things I have done for myself.

It gives me such a pleasurable thing to do during normal "waiting" time that I actually look forward to going places where I will have wait time!"

TIP #2- Pick a Daily Activity in which to incorporate your meditation Another simple thing you can do is pick a daily activity where you can incorporate meditation.

Below are some examples:

* brushing your teeth
* showering
* emptying the dishwasher
* walking
* eating
* folding the laundry

For example, when you brush your teeth in the morning take a few moments to notice your breath while you are doing it. Or when you shower, pay attention to how the water feels moving across your face or head. When you empty the dishwasher notice the placement of each dish or feel the aliveness in your hands as you put each dish away.

And yes, you can even practice meditation while eating. A participant in one of our 21 day meditation circles decided to practice meditation during her daily breakfast. She paid attention to her breathing as she ate. She noticed the texture and taste of the food she put in her mouth.

TIP #3- Have your dog or cat be your meditation

The majority of the population owns a pet, yet we don't realize that our dog or cat can be our meditation. One time while meditating my cat Vinnie came up to me and started meowing. He wanted my attention. And rather than try to ignore him, I opened my eyes and started petting him. I noticed the feel of his fur while petting him. He became my meditation.

And if you have a dog, walking the dog can be your meditation. When you walk your dog have you noticed how your dog is just fully in the moment; taking in everything? Well you can do that as well! Next time you are walking your dog, take in your surroundings. Notice the colors and shapes of the trees, houses, etc. Feel your feet as they touch the concrete.

Our dogs and cats can also be great meditation timers if we allow them to be. Often while sitting at my computer throughout the day, Vinnie will come up and demand attention by meowing. I will stop what I am doing (if only for a moment) and sit on the floor with him and just be with him. As you can see, anything can be your meditation. Your life can literally be a meditation.

Those moments you spend throughout the day while waiting, doing a daily activity, driving or walking your dog will really make a difference in your life. If you implement any one, or more, of these tips into your life right now, you will have a regular meditation practice and you will experience more joy, more peace and less stress in your life and your relationships.

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