Withdrawal, time out and do not disturb.
These are the words we often think of when we hear the word meditation. It’s supposed to be that isolated mental back stage that we stop time for and temporarily retreat into before stepping back into the real world.
Or like a distant and detached gas station we only visit at the end of the day to refuel.
But if our goals are for the bliss of the moment to fill each passing of our lives, then shouldn’t meditation, which brings this about also be in each second?
I like to look at the moment to moment of life as a series of notes in which we’d all love for each note to be an uplifting one.
When we meditate, the music becomes uplifting but when we stop, the notes gradually go down until they’re pulled up again through another meditation. Well, if we could find a realistic way to meditate constantly throughout the day, wouldn’t we actually obtain a profoundly melodic life versus just borrowing one?
This isn’t supposed to be a gimmick. A life brimming with joy is really the whole point of the yogic path.
But how can we be in constant meditation when we don’t even have time to say, um, meditate? Well, all meditation really means is being single pointedly focused on the moment without distraction and being full of unconditional joy by not relying on the situation for happiness. It’s basically a great way to experience life, and it wasn’t meant to be confined to the lotus position. So we can be biased to the moment in a deeply peaceful way in everything that we do and not just when we’re sitting shut eyed.
Here are some examples to get you started:
1. When walking somewhere, focus deeply on the scenes going by. Really look at the individual leaves on the trees. Hone in on the feel of the ground with each step, and your breath that accompanies each pace. Free your mind of any nagging thoughts and just declare the perfection of the moment.
2. When you’re nervous about the results of whatever you’re working on in the office, let it all go and just “become” what you’re doing. Put all attention on the text, be present in every mouse click and in each detail. Drop all unproductive worry and just tell yourself you’re just here to be all that you can be and enjoy the ride of life.
3. If you’re in disagreement with someone. Forget that it’s about you. Concentrate on just the feelings behind their words, focus completely on their meanings and intentions, and on improving the situation. Think to yourself, conversations of any sort are so precious and fascinating, it’s a miracle that we’re here.
4. You just walk into a loud, crowded place surrounded by all sorts of irritating happenings. Tie yourself back to something soothing, like your breath or a mantra. Focus on each repetition and then gradually focus on each annoyance as it happens as if it were also a breath or mantra. Again, remind yourself, everything is fine, the sounds of existence are happening and I get to be conscious of it!
Can you think of other examples? Each activity in life can be turned into meditation, simply by doing it in a non-distracted and focused way and with a mind empty for untouchable peace. When unsure of how to proceed, just start focusing on something simple like your breath. Then slowly transition from there to the mouse clicks, noises, and anything else.
Making life one big meditation is a life long journey, and in order to use meditation in the way described above, a tolerance needs to be acquired through traditional isolated meditation.
Taking time off such as for a meditation retreat to practice each day beginning with seated meditation and then sustaining the meditative focus on your physical yoga practice. Make sure to maintain focus while changing poses in Vinyasa or Ashtanga Yoga to facilitate the transition from still meditation to meditation while doing.