meditation in the modern world

The classic meditation image of a sage sitting on top of a mountain, in lotus position, needs a little updating. In today’s social-media, multi-tasking, smart-phone world, few of us feel we have the time to meditate, let alone climb a mountain. If the word meditation scares you, rename it ‘mindfulness’.

meditation through mindfulness

Mindfulness is the opposite of multi-tasking (which is essentially anti-meditation); it’s taking the time to focus on one thing and savouring life. Instead of eating breakfast while watching TV, try to give your attention to one activity; take pleasure in the taste and texture of your granola.

focus on your breathing
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight (if you hunch forward your lungs and diaphragm won’t be able to expand fully). To  begin with you probably want to find a quiet place but as you develop your practice you’ll become better at blocking out the surrounding world. Focus on the air flowing through your nostrils and the rise and fall of your abdomen as you inhale and exhale. When your mind begins to wander, bring it back to focus on your breathing.

meditation in motion

For those of us who can’t sit still for long, yoga is the ideal way to meditate. Yoga combines specific movements with a meditative focus on the body and breathing. Other meditative practices in motion include running, tai chi or qigong.

momentary meditation

three conscious breaths
If your life is non-stop action and you can’t see yourself stopping for 20 minutes to meditate, little micro-meditations are a great way to alleviate stress and improve your concentration. Use physical reminders as cues to your practice (which cues you pick will determine the frequency). For example, take three deep breaths every time you send an email or every time you think about work outside of work hours.

stop and smell the roses
Take the opportunity two or three times a day to stop and appreciate the world around you. Explore your environment sense by sense; what can you see, hear, smell and how do your emotions reflect or react to these sensations?

Focusing on what you're eating as you eat it is a great first step towards a healthy, more deliberate life.

other great articles on meditation in sport

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Thank you for this reminder and these tips. I truly believe that if more people meditated, the world would be a better place.

Comment by Apopgirl — June 27, 2011 @ 4:58 am

I meditate while driving (I have no other choice sometimes other than to just breath very deeply and focus just on that) and while I shower. I love to just totally zone out there.

Comment by The Get In Shape Girl — July 13, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

One of the easiest ways to start meditation is incorporating it in your daily life. Naturally. Most people thing you have to sit a certain way, understand a certain “teaching,” etc – that is not the case. Pay attention to you breath,if your mind wavers, that’s fine, just come back to your breath, relax your body and you’ll find yourself instantly stress free.

Comment by Sanjaya — July 30, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

I’ve always heard that flexing the mind is just like flexing a muscle. Very hard to do sometimes but so worth it in the end. Even if you just begin with 5 minutes a day!

Comment by Karen — March 19, 2012 @ 7:06 am

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