There is a common belief that in order to meditate effectively you need to spend at least twenty minutes sitting in a quiet place with your eyes closed. While meditations of this kind are certainly useful it’s equally important to be able to meditate throughout the day. This allows you to relax in the midst of the activity, busyness and stress of daily life. Have you thought of meditating:
- whilst traveling to and from work
- at the gym
- at meal times
- at your desk
- during meetings
- while waiting (for the train, in queues, to be served etc.)
- in the shower or toilet
- whenever you walk somewhere
- when you’re put on hold
- when you’re irritated or upset
- during the ads on TV
If you take the time to take a few seconds or minutes out during the day to do ‘spot’ meditations, you’ll soon find that you’re racking up 20 or more minutes of meditation without having to discipline yourself to get up early or find that extra time.
In every day there are countless opportunities to focus on sensory things — such as the food you’re eating, the air you’re breathing, a passing sensation, feeling or emotion, or a song on the radio — and by doing this you’ll be grounding yourself in the present. This will help to keep your body relaxed and will enable you to process your thoughts and emotions more efficiently. This is all that you’re required to do in order to meditate.
‘Spot’ Meditation Instructions
The following spot meditations, developed by Eric Harrison at Perth Meditation Centre, are short meditations that you can do throughout the day, wherever you are. For best results:
- Aim to do some sort of spot-meditation — even if it’s only for 10 or 15 seconds — every hour.
- Work hard to make these mini-meditations habits that you can rely on.
- Use reminders or ‘triggers’ to create associations between certain daily activities and these moments of meditation. For example; when you see someone driving the same make of car that you do, use that as a reminder to relax your shoulders, breathe more deeply or to check in with what you are thinking and feeling.
- Remember that some practices are more useful than others. Choose the ones that work for you.