Wireless Meditation: Top Five Tips For Wherever-Whenever Mindfulness
The problem with meditation is attachment.
We get in the habit of needing our altar, favorite cushion, incense, CD, certain time of day, necessary length of time, or particular style of sitting. If we can't do it the "right" way, we tend to skip it altogether. We get so attached to the trappings that we get a little testy if we don't have everything just so.
This is funny when you think about it. In Buddhism, the core belief is that life is full of suffering, and this suffering is due to attachment. Isn't it ironic that we become so attached to the idea of meditation? Isn't it a bit absurd to think of followers of particular styles of meditation as obsessive about their own approach?
I find it hilarious. I also find it destructive.
I'm all for whatever works. If committing to a ritual is right for you, by all means, light that candle. If you must do some yoga exercises prior to sitting, go for it. If you need to go for a run before chanting, be my guest.
However, if you find that your concept of what you need in order to meditate is hindering instead of liberating you, it's time to take a look at what I refer to as "wireless" meditation.
The beautiful thing about going wireless--whether it's with phones, computers, or your own quest for mindfulness--is that you suddenly become unencumbered by extraneous connections. You can continue with your day. You can go anywhere. You are free.
Just as a wireless phone allows you to think of your workplace in a whole new way, mindfulness practice gives you the opportunity to bring attention to whatever you're doing.
Your connection to your mind and your heart is hooked up while you're taking a shower, washing the dishes, walking the dog, or tending your garden. You no longer see mindfulness as something you can do only if you're sitting in your family room before the kids get up.
For those who've given up on meditation, consider the freedom of mindfulness practice.
Here are five questions to ask yourself in order to stay connected anywhere, anytime:
* "What can I notice this minute?" Look around. What do you see? What colors pop? What kind of light fills your space? What do you smell? What do you hear? How does your body feel right now?
* "Where can I focus my attention this minute?" Choose something within you--a physical sensation, a thought, an emotion. Or, go outside your skin and shine all of your attention upon something around you. Spend one minute in full discovery mode.
* "What can I do to connect with this person?" If you're a parent and you're feeling a little burned out by your child's demands, stop thinking about how to fulfill a request and focus on how to fulfill a need. Can you give loving attention without giving a thing? Can you focus your full attention on your partner in the way most likely to make them feel cherished?
* "How can I bring more mindfulness to this task?" Whether you're filing, copying documents, folding laundry, or scrubbing the bathtub, you can focus intently and intensely upon your particular task. Take note of the textures. Pay attention to edges, creases, folds, warmth, texture, and color. Focus on the muscles you're using in each step of the process. Feel the bending, flexing, and stretching your body must do to perform each movement.
* "How can I find more meaning in this moment?" In every moment, we have the opportunity to connect to what matters most. We can choose to find a reason to feel grateful, content, secure, uplifted, and cared for.
By paying attention, we can find value in the simplest tasks and the greatest challenges. Going wireless means you can choose to connect whenever you like. Find ways to tap into mindfulness without becoming attached to meditation.
Use your wherever-whenever minutes--and get more.
Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse in Portland, Oregon. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she teaches fun and effective eyes-wide-open alternatives to meditation. To subscribe to her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage, please visit http://www.MassageYourMind.com
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Establishing A Daily Meditation Practice
It's important to establish a daily practice and then stick to it. This doesn't mean dedicating 12 hours a day to meditation, it just means creating a space in your home where you can take a few minutes and meditate and do the exercises. I advise people to start with some of the basic exercises and devote 10 -20 minutes a day as they develop their physical and mental abilities. Many people quite simply overload themselves and expect too much too soon, then get discouraged when they don't see the results they thought they should see.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of daily meditation. The benefits are enormous. They are: improved physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health; greater personal power, enhanced creativity, increased ability to enact ideals and an enhanced sense of purpose and well-being.
Enlightenment through Meditation
Helping the broadest range of people attain enlightenment through meditation is my lifelong preoccupation. I have more than 20 years of daily interaction with people helping them meditate and encouraging them to set high goals and use meditation as a tool for attaining inspiration, precious insights, enlightenment and other benefits that come along with it. In order to practice meditation, you need a pleasant quiet place where nobody is going to disturb you. Once you are comfortably seated, you can start with pranayama (rhythmic breathing exercise), followed by pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from the outer world), thorough relaxation of the mind and senses, and finally relaxation of the physical body. By breathing rhythmically ? inhaling, holding the breath, and exhaling while following a simple pattern (4-16-8, for instance) ? you will accumulate prana, revitalize your life force, and new spiritual strength will come to you. During the pratyahara you will play the role of a neutral observer of your thoughts, with the ultimate aim of achieving a state of consciousness without any thoughts. In this way, the objective possibility of reaching the most inner part of your Being ? God in you ? is realized. This means that you can now start feeling the warmth in your heart, see the light which is present there, and experience the subtle energy of Divine love. Furthermore, you can become aware of the harmony of mind, heart, and will. Your devotion and relaxation can lead you into deeper levels of consciousness, into deeper meditation. You can turn your senses inward to further increase you awareness. Your meditation will start realizing its goals. This is the level of devotion where you can actually contact the source of inspiration, gain countless insights, and approach the possibility of enlightening your Being. It is the harmony of your mind, heart, and will, that brings you into Unity with the One. When you learn to be quiescent, when there are no thoughts and aspirations of any kind, you will find yourself out of your mental body, out of limitations, free in the consciousness of Unity. Only when your intentions diminish, when your mind becomes unoccupied, the enlightenment will start to show its magnificence. The sustained flow of attention will connect you to the endless reservoir of power, the source of knowledge and inspiration. When meditation occurs, love is its flavor. This love is your true nature. When the consciousness starts perceiving itself, it becomes pure consciousness. What resides is only the voiceless spirit of awareness whose meaning is I AM, I EXIST, I ENDURE. You should meditate every single day, if necessary two times a day. If some day you find yourself distressed, a simple exercise can help you. Light a candle and put it some 30 cm away, at the level of your eyes. Simply by gazing at the blue part of the candle's flame for 5 minutes, you can relax yourself. Your positive attitude, faith, calmness, and serenity can help. You should consciously develop love toward your meditation and meditativeness. The results will be in accord with your efforts, persistence and fortitude. There is not a single individual who can not succeed. There are only different kinds of obstacles with different people. Don't forget to consult your spiritual teacher, who is there to help you overcome your obstacles.
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