MEDITATION: ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE
DIFFERENT PLACES AND WAYS TO MEDITATE
What are some of the different ways you handle stress and relax? Do you go for a walk or a run? Take a yoga or spin class? Get together with friends over dinner? Have a glass of wine or a cocktail? Take a bath or read? Listen to music?
Have you thought about meditating? It isn’t as complicated as you may think and it’s a proven way to relax, reduce depression and anxiety, and improve focus, productivity and performance at work. Research has demonstrated that people who practice meditation on a daily basis are happier and calmer than their counterparts. Did you know that in the half hour before going on stage Apple CEO Steve Jobs would meditate? His and other companies like Google, Nike, Deutche Bank, HBO and Proctor and Proctor and Gamble, to name a few, promote Employee Meditation.
There are many places all around you where you can meditate. The key is to find what feels right for you. But first, how does one meditate?
HOW TO PRACTICE MEDITATION
DETERMINE YOUR APPROACH
“Meditation is a word that has come to be used loosely and inaccurately in the modern world. That is why there is so much confusion about how to practice it. Some people use the word meditate when they mean thinking or contemplating; others use it to refer to daydreaming or fantasizing. However, meditation (dhyana) is not any of these.”1
There exists hundreds, if not thousands, of techniques and ways to meditate: Mindfulness Meditation, Vipassana, Buddhist Meditation, Loving Kindness Meditation or Metta, Hindu Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, Laughter Meditation, to name some of the more popular ones.
“Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified.”2
So really, the technique or length of time you choose to meditate isn’t important. What’s important is that you feel good about where you meditate and that it’s conducive to being connected with yourself. Listen to the leaves or birds, or a fountain or sit in complete silence. If this isn’t possible there are Apps that you can listen to like Headspace, Calm, Breathe or choprameditationcenter.com to name a few. Keep a blanket, yoga mat, cushion, or even a folding chain in your trunk and so that you can be spontaneous in your choices of meditation spots.
WHERE TO MEDITATE
THERE ARE VARIOUS PLACES AROUND YOU THAT ARE CONDUCIVE TO MEDITATION
AT THE OFFICE
Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, why not transform your personal space into a peaceful environment. Adding a plant or two, diffusing some essential oils in a small desk-top diffuser and putting up some soothing photos or artwork can contribute to keeping you calm. Choose to sit at your desk with your eyes closed and loop your shoulders back, breathe deeply and relax your body. Do slow neck rolls by following your nose in a circle. Have a quick morning meditation before the day gets too hectic, or go to en empty meeting room during your lunch break. Take in some deep breaths as you walk to get yourself a soothing herbal tea or water.
IN A SYNAGOGUE OR CHURCH
Even you aren’t religious, places of worship offer calm, quiet environments in which to reflect and sit still with your eyes closed. The bonus is that no one will bother you!
IN A MUSEUM OR ART GALLERY
These are ideal places as they instil creativity and reverie. They usually have inner courtyards, gardens, beautiful entrances, and lots of nooks and crannies — you can get lost in a meditation smack in the center of town!
IN A GARDEN
If you don’t have your own garden, every town and city offers green spaces. Whether it’s a park, botanical garden, a mountain or pond, nature reserve or trail, outdoor spaces abound and you can usually find your own peaceful corner. There is nothing like the energy of the outdoors to feel connected — and who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new part of your town you didn’t even know existed!
IN A LIBRARY
An ideal place to meditate for free and to look up some books on meditation while you’re at it!
Instead of being constantly on your phone while in a car, bus or plane, why not just put your phone away, close your eyes, or sit still, observe, breathe and relax. It’s so much better than losing your cool in traffic or delays!
AT A SPA
Of course spas are the ideal place to meditate as you’re there to relax and unwind, and you have to remain silent. Between cycles of thermal baths, saunas and steams, relaxing stations are the ideal places to catch a 10 or 15 minute meditation.
Depending where you live there are a number of places to meditate: University campuses, conservatories, even certain indoor malls have open areas with gardens and benches.
WHEN TO MEDITATE
CHOOSE THE RIGHT MOMENT
When determining when to meditate it’s important to ensure that it’s done at a similar time every day. Take the time to determine what works best for you: where you meditate will determine the time, so make sure that can it can be integrated into your routine so that your body can fully benefit from this healthy habit. You can choose to set your alarm 10 minutes earlier, pick the children up a few minutes later, take a few minutes on your way home from work.
Most importantly, if you aren’t able to find a place or time to mediate every day, don’t be hard on yourself! The whole point is to relax not to create added stress! If you can’t seem to fit in a 10 or 20 minute meditation, simply start with two or five minutes. As you find your groove and feel the benefits of even a few minutes a day, it will be easier for you to determine a routine that is sustainable and works for you.
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1. Swami Rama - Yoga International
2. Swami Rama - Yoga International