I often hear how hard it is to fit a meditation practice into everyday life. No time, no motivation, no support from home. Mindfulness doesn’t only have to be meditation on the cusion or lying down. It can involve other activities as well.
Bringing attention to doing the dishes, brushing your teeth or changing a diaper etc. are ways of supporting presence in your life. A lot of those activities are things we often hurry to get over and done with. It might create tension because we would rather be doing something else. A challenge this week is to bring mindulness into those activities. Let me know how it goes. : )
Here are 5 exercises that may inspire you to ways of mindfulness in your everyday life.
1. Before getting out of bed in morning, spend 3-5 minutes just following you breath. Feeling your inbreath and your outbreath. Bringing attention to your body and the sensations that arise. Keeping your eyes closed just taking a few minutes to tune in before continuing with your day.
2. If you are waiting at a red light. In your car, or as a lot of people here in Denmark, on your bicycle. Touch base with your breathing, feel the wind against your face, the sounds around you. Observe what is on your mind, how you feel right there in that moment. The key word is observe not change.
3. Eat a meal or a snack in silence. Taste, smell, feel what you are eating. Try not to sit in front of the computer or TV while you eat. You could also do the same with a cup of tea. Take it all in. Bring awareness to the fact that you are eating or drinking.
4. Pick a routine activity you do everyday. How does your body feel, while you are doing it? Is there any tension, relaxation? Do any feelings arise - resistance, annoyence, happiness or any other feelings. Do any thoughts occur? Observe your mindstate and body. Being present with what you are doing eventhough you might want to be doing something else.
5. While waiting in line, on hold with customerservice, waiting for the computer to turn on, on the bus. Close your eyes and follow your breath for a minute. Allow yourself to take a few minutes of silence. You are stuck there anyway. Use the time for meditation.