Which do you find harder: taming your monkey mind in meditation or finding extra time just to sit still every day? Either way, fear not: You can easily access a peaceful state of mind simply by incorporating meditation into your everyday activities.
1. Do That Thing You LOVE to Do
Whether it’s hiking, biking, cooking, or painting, time stands still when we whole-heartedly focus on our favorite activities. Our stream of thoughts, stories, and dramas mysteriously slip away. Immerse yourself in this One Great Thing and pay no attention to those background pings! Afterward, observe your feelings. Calmer? Happier? Congratulations—you just completed a power-of-the-present-moment meditation. It’s that easy.
2. Nurture Yourself in Nature
Life isn’t like a nutritional supplement commercial, with happy people hiking all day. However, you can easily practice meditation almost anytime you step outdoors. As you tune into nature’s simple rhythms, your breath and thoughts slow down to match Mother Nature’s gentle march.
You can transmute tension just by making like your ten-year-old self and contemplating the overhead clouds. Extra credit if you find heart shapes blowing through the skies.
3. Don’t Just Wait, Meditate!
You’re meeting a friend and she’s delayed—again. Instead of killing time tweeting and texting, try a mobile meditation. Yes, there is an app for that! Insert your ear buds, and suddenly you’re immersed in an oh-so-soothing 10-minute practice. Betcha your friend arrives just when you’re done—and that you greet her with a warm hug instead of that “late-again” eye-roll.
4. Drive Time
If stuck in traffic, this probably isn’t the time to “be one with your fellow drivers” and blissfully surrender. You need a peaceful distraction. Try a mantra meditation set to super chill music (I’m a big fan of DJ Drez). Or invent your own, (“I am love, I am light”) and get lost in your words as you roll down the road.
5. Pillow Talk
If you have a wee bit of resistance to rolling out of bed in the morning, you can transform sluggishness into a sublime meditation—plus you get to linger a little longer! Lie still and observe your barely-conscious thoughts. When we bear witness, “I don’t wanna go to work” turns into “I’m noticing struggle—and I’m OK with that.” Bonus points for adding an intention to your day—such as a decision to accept your feelings, or a love offering to friends and family.
6. Eat Your Drop-Dead Favorite Food
Walk your oh-so-spiritual self into the kitchen and scoop up a small serving of ice cream, rice cream, or whatever tickles your ‘buds. I’m going with Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, so work with me:
Fix your focus on lifting this luscious little mound to your lips. Consider the temperature, taste, and sensation as bits of cherry and chocolate slowly slide down your throat. This ancient practice of mindful eating is a revered meditation ritual, as well as an awesome way to express gratitude for our bounty. Namaste, Ben & Jerry!
7. Yoga, Yoga, and More Yoga
Truth: Whether you’re trying to reach your toes or perfecting your handstand, the one reason we do yoga is to reach that super end-of-class climax moment when we drop into savasana for meditation. It’s the physical poses that enable us to access that deep, still space in our mind. No matter the level or lineage you practice, all poses lead to the all-peaceful state of meditation.