So you don’t have time to meditate?
Well, I would argue that you do…
Come on, give me 5 minutes!
Just 5 minutes of sitting first thing in the morning after you get up.
You totally have time for that…
Even when my mind is crazy active, and I am crazy busy I make time for myself to sit those 5 minutes.
Sometimes, it’s so enjoyable I sit for a half hour or more.
Sometimes, it’s so painful, annoying, aggravating, and all over the place that I pop up from my meditation seat like a pop tart from a toaster!
Many times, it’s kind of blah, meh, in the middle kind of experience.
Regardless, it’s a practice I am committed to.
Now that you’re sitting for at least 5 minutes a day…What about the other 1435 minutes in a day?
Well, obviously you’re sleeping for a good 480 minutes, if you get 8 hours of sleep per night.
Still, that leaves 955 minutes of non-meditation waking life.
But what if you could turn those 955 minutes into mindfully, consciously living your waking life?
The possibilities are endless…
Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche talked about a concept called Meditation In Action.
Basically, it’s bringing meditation into everyday life.
It’s bringing mindfulness, consciousness, and presence into everything you do.
- wash the dishes, be present.
- fold your clothes, be present.
- prepare your food, be present.
- make your bed, be present.
- listen to someone else speak, be present.
- brush your teeth, be present.
- exercise, be present.
- do your job, be present.
- look after your kids, be present.
You may find that some activities evoke presence and consciousness more readily than others.
I always give the example of my hot yoga practice. It’s so hot and challenging that I have to be fully present in my body in order to balance on one leg with my limbs all twisted around.
But it’s true for any athlete performing at their peak potential.
It’s hopefully true for you when you are at your job!
You wouldn’t want your surgeon, for example, to be thinking of what he’s going to eat for lunch, while he operates on you.
Obviously, some jobs are higher stakes than others, but you get the point.
Be present where you are, doing what you are doing, instead of wanting for the moment to be over and grasping at some future moment that does not yet exist.
The beauty is in this moment.
Eckhart Tolle talks about this in The Power of Now. Many spiritual teachers and authors have talked about this.
The concept is not new.
But it’s worth repeating over and over again.
Because this practice is hard!
I watch my mind wander ALL THE TIME…
Being present and bringing mindfulness and meditation into everyday life is the practice of a lifetime.
It’s the practice of being fully, truly, deeply alive and engaged with life.
It’s incredibly powerful for those of us who grew up dissociating as a coping mechanism for traumatic experiences.
Meditation in action is the exact opposite of dissociation.
It is being fully embodied, rather than letting your mind leave your body in order to escape reality.
I’m not saying dissociation is bad. It was good and useful whenever you were experiencing the trauma…
But now that the trauma is over (HOPEFULLY-if not, get some help!), dissociation disconnects you from the experience of being fully human.
When you’re not fully present, it’s hard to appreciate the little things that remind you that life is beautiful. It’s hard to notice the signs the universe is always giving you to guide you along your path.
When you’re not present, it’s hard to be grateful for the vast abundance that you have…because all of us do have a lot to be grateful for. We were all born on a planet so rich, abundant, and generous in giving us permission to be alive and sustain ourselves here.
Meditate 5 minutes a day. Just do it. Even this tiny little bit is good.
When you’re not sitting, try to be present throughout the rest of your day.
Notice how your body feels and what your mind thinks when you do the normal tasks of everyday life.
And from there, watch a deep appreciation emerge for the chance to be alive right now in this very moment.
Let me know how it goes in the comments! Do you meditate? How do you practice meditation off the cushion?
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