Here at The Olive Tree, we understand that it can be difficult to squeeze a satisfying meditation into your busy schedule. For most people, meditation can be a daunting prospect: your eyes MUST be closed, you MUST sit in the lotus position and you MUST breathe correctly. Although this is a perfectly valid method of meditation, we want to assure you that it is not the only way to meditate.
In this article, we’re going to share with you a selection of short and sweet meditations that can be done at any time, in any place, by any one.
The Spaces Between Your Thoughts
This is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to meditate: all you have to do is bring your awareness to your thoughts. Listen to yourself thinking and try not to get drawn into stories or to-do lists. Observe your mind.
Do this for a few moments and then shift your attention to the natural pauses that occur between your thoughts. Try to hold on to that silence for a few seconds. The next time you become aware of a space between your thoughts, hold it for a little longer. Each of these moments of silence is a successful meditation.
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
You may have noticed that when you become absorbed in a task, time races by. It may be that you’ve been cooking, or sewing; gardening or playing an instrument – whatever you’ve been up to, it counts as a meditation.
When we give our full attention to something and live in the present moment, we are in fact meditating.
This can even be applied to household chores: next time it’s your turn to do the dishes, take your time and be truly mindful of what you’re doing.
Pay attention to your senses: feel the temperature of the water, smell the fragrance of the soap. Even if you only manage to focus fully on washing your morning coffee cup, it counts as yet another successful meditation.
The Sound of a Singing Bowl
A singing bowl is a gorgeous tool to help you to meditate. The easiest way to use it is to gently strike its rim with the wooden baton and then listen to the note. Give it your complete attention: follow the sound of the singing bowl and try to pin point the precise moment when the note fades into silence.
If you don’t have a singing bowl, this exercise can be easily adapted to any other sound. Wind chimes, birds singing, even a car engine will do the trick – as long as you’re not the person driving, of course. Simply enjoy the sound with your full attention and once more, you’re meditating!
When you use these techniques, it becomes much easier to achieve those longed-for moments of mindfulness during your daily routine: whether you’re in the office or on holiday; if you have an hour to spend or only moments to spare, we’re confident that one of these mini-meditations will help to relieve stress and give you some priceless peace of mind.
The most important thing to remember about meditation is that it is a practice, and that your focus should be on improvement rather than perfection. Therefore any moment of mindfulness that you achieve is a success and should be celebrated.
The Meditation Bible by Madonna Gauding
Peace is Every Breath (A Practice for Our Busy Lives) by Thich Nhat Hanh
A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation by Jack Kornfield
Music for Meditation
Koyasan by Deuter
Healing Ragas by Mandala