Meditations in Life
Meditation enhances our inner peace, our ability to concentrate, our sleep, and our enjoyment of life. It helps us deal with physical and emotional pain gracefully and has even been shown to potentially lengthen our lives. People often think of meditation as a seated practice where they must completely clear the mind. Sometimes this can be intimidating. Our minds are often racing and sometimes it can be difficult to get comfortable in a seated position for a long period. Here are a few ideas for meditations that can help take your mind off your racing thoughts for a while. They are done in communion with our environment or other people and can lead to a powerful transformation – the ability to live life as meditation, to live each moment mindfully.
Find a quiet forest where you will be unbothered for a while. Bring your attention to your breath and slowly walk among the trees. Find a tree that seems to call your attention and go to it. Touch the tree, acknowledge its presence, hug the tree – do whatever you choose to connect with it. Now find a comfortable spot to sit with your back up against the tree – if you prefer to stand you can also stand with the back of your body up against the tree. Close your eyes. Relaxing the breath, bring to mind your ancestors. Ask a question. Imagine the wisdom of your grandmother coming through the tree. Your grandfather. Your parents. Your teachers. See what answer arises. Sit quietly with the tree for 30 minutes – or however long you have – and see what visions arise. Connect deeply with nature and express your gratitude.
Smile Walk Meditation
Smiles are powerful. Just one brief glance at a smile can brighten someone’s day and improve both the recipient and the giver’s moods. I once read about a “lovingkindness” meditation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In this meditation, you encounter people on the street or wherever in your daily life and genuinely wish them happiness. You cultivate this wish by realizing your similarity with these people, whether strangers or friends. Realize we all deserve and want happiness as a basic human right. Then silently offer this genuine wish with a smile. Bringing this meditation into your daily life can vastly increase your compassion and peace.
How often do we actually take the time to appreciate our partners, friends, and family completely? To really be present with someone is a profound gift, and that’s the idea of this meditation. In a love meditation, take an entire day if possible or at least a half hour to truly be present with your partner. This can be a lover or a close family member or friend. Be silent together for a period of time but interact with gestures, eyes, and expressions. Do something you both love to do together – maybe an art or culinary project, perhaps a walk on the beach. Enjoy a warm, long, heartfelt hug. Gaze into each other’s eyes without looking away. Touch the other person mindfully, thinking of how it would feel if this were being done to you. Be present for the other person while truly appreciating their presence with you.
I hope you enjoy these meditations and look forward to hearing about your experiences or other ways you bring meditation into your daily life. Thank you for stopping by! Sending love to you all.