Many people believe that, to meditate, one needs to be seated in lotus position for an hour with incense burning in the background. That’s one way to meditate but not THE way to meditate. If you believe that you have to sit quietly for an hour in order to meditate, then this can act as a deterrent. Thus, many people don’t meditate at all for this very reason. If you are one of these people, you are missing out on something that could change your life for the better.
Here’s what I’ve come to learn and believe based upon my readings and, more critically, my own experience. Every conscious breath is a form of meditation. The breath is always in the present moment. The most important breath you are taking is the one that you are taking right now. Your past breaths don’t matter, nor do your future ones. They can’t be the focus of any of your conscious attention.
Since our breath is always in the present moment, if you focus upon it, it can pull you into the here and now and, magically, out of the incessant chatter in your head. For the most part, our breath is unconscious. We are rarely aware that we are breathing. But, if we focus our attention upon our breath, we can feel the “aliveness” in our bodies and rid ourselves of the (very often) negative chatter in our heads.
Here’s the great part – we can do this wherever we go. Our breath is always with us. I do this a lot when I’m forced to wait for anything.
Rather than become annoyed, if I am at a traffic light or in a checkout line, I just use that time to take some slow, conscious breaths. In fact, you can use your impatience as a cue to take some slow breaths. When you have to wait…and we all do…why not make some excellent use of that time? You will get many “mini” meditations throughout the day, which can have a positive impact on your mood and create a whole new perspective on the situations that life throws at you.