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Life is meditation. You don't need to make time for it.


Meditation
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things - that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It's a discipline; you have to practice it.” ― Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

Meditation is a great tool to train the stillness of the mind. The more our mind gets quiet, the more we're experiencing the present moment.


While there are times, we literally enjoy making time for meditation; like a ritual, sitting down, lighting up a candle and an incense stick, ready to indulge into a moment of stillness; Most of the time, our day is cluttered with activities and our mind with things on our to-do list. Adding meditation on top results in overflowing; Although it would be the right thing to step out of the downward slide.


Meditation doesn't require you to make time for it.


Whilst writing this article, I sit outside on a café terrace, where I am observing a grandfather and his grandchild of roughly three years old engaging in conversation. Tears well up in my eyes as I watch the little girl react innocently to her grand-pa's voice, sensing the compassion and enjoyment he senses while spending time with her. Both giggling and chuckling; indulged in the moment.


I could sense how present this little girl is. She is just there, with no concerns and no worries. I wish her to never lose it. To never get lost in the mind.


A beautiful moment. It was a pleasure to mediate on it and I'm thankful for them having provided a perfect example of what meditation is about.


Meditation is a tool to ground yourself in the present, yet it's not to be seen as an activity to plan. Meditation is a state of being that is by definition now; Hence, always. It's about living a conscious life.


In this article I will share the way of embodying meditation in your daily life without planning concrete sessions at a specific time. The only time that exists is now, so do you and whatever you do. All it needs is to live consciously at every moment.



Sensing - Awareness


Each of the following can be applied during whatever you're doing and wherever you are: Working, shopping, with friends, alone, washing, cleaning, cooking, and so on.


The most difficult thing is to let go of reason and judgement to whatever we experience. We are full of knowledge. We are so knowledgeable that it seems impossible to look at or hear something without naming it. Yet this is the key. Experience everything the way it is in this moment and not the way you think it is.


1 Body awareness


Pay attention to your inner body. Feel into it and take note of your reactions towards the external world.


  • Feel into every muscle, and notice where you're relaxed, and where you're tense. As you spot tension, consciously try to relax that part of the body.

  • While walking, feel every step you do. Feel the ground under your feet. Pressure and tension building up and releasing throughout your body with every step you take. Are you walking fast, then consciously walk more slowly and observe the difference in your feel.

  • Pay attention to your face muscles. Do you smile or not? Consciously apply a change. Loosen your muscles and relax. Connect with other people you pass by while smiling at them. Notice the reaction of your body when they smile back.


2 Consciously make use of your senses


While our senses are always in use, we rarely make use of them consciously.


  • See: Try to let go of reason and judgement of what you see. Experience shape, form, lights, shades, etc without naming it.

  • Hear: Let sounds entertain your ears. Don't judge and don't name what you hear. Perceive intensity, vibration, character instead of a crying baby, wind or passing by car.

  • Feel: Pay attention to sensations like temperature, humidity, dryness, wind, or even friction when making contact with a person or object while passing through a narrow passage. Again, don't judge, and don't name it, just feel it consciously. If you're sensible enough, you may get to feel the energy, the aura of someone passing by.

  • Taste: Whatever you drink and eat; or even the taste of the air while walking around. Pay attention to it. Does it taste bitter, salty or sweet? Is it liquid or a more solid consistency? Experience it the way it is.

  • Smell: Experience all the different smells you come across. Don't just simply react to them. Get as detailed as possible when describing it without judging or naming it. Think about intensity, colours, character and even emotion.


3 Observe your thoughts


Become an observer of your thoughts every time and everywhere. Whatever comes along, pulling your attention away from what you're currently doing, let focus on your task again. Don't build resistance to them, since they will come without your approval. Just become aware of them and direct your focus back to what you're really doing in this moment; Letting them go.


  • Note the nature of your thoughts. Thoughts about worries, insecurity, hope, wishes, whatever pops up; become aware of what's happening in your mind.

4 Observe your emotions


Your emotions change to whatever you experience. Become an observer of this process. Consciously observe what happens in different situations. Feeling enclosed amongst people, open and free or ashamed?


If in public, watch your feelings change as you face different situations. In one moment you might feel uncomfortable, perhaps due to stressed people around you; and in the next moment, you feel compassion towards something you observe, like I had with this grandfather and his grandchild.


Observe whatever comes along, and allow it to be.


The universe one can dive in while practicing mindfulness in whatever you're doing is endless. The more you practice, the deeper the dive.


As you progress, pay attention to the chain-reactions that happen between thoughts, body, emotions and all of your senses.

chain reaction - domino

Notice how one thought triggers an emotion whereof another thought might make the emotion dissolve or transform. Notice how an emotion creates tension in specific muscles of your body. Notice how a smell generates thoughts and emotions and/or tension.


Follow the reactions throughout your being.


This said, meditation doesn't require you to make time for it. It's a state of being you can choose to be.


You can still plan meditation rituals, sitting still and calming your mind. It's a good training for calming the mind. While we automatically consider this whenever our mind doesn't allow us to breathe; my suggestion, however, is to do this whenever you feel good, especially at the beginning. People often give up when trying to still their mind out of a cluttered mind state. Stilling the mind requires long time practice.


While you feel good, your mind is already much more quiet than otherwise. It helps you to dive deeper into this state of no-mind and creates reference points that will help you to progress.


Again, be mindful whenever you feel great. Practicing with a cluttered mind, however, can act as a gauge to track your progress.


Enjoy the moment.







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