If you search the web for mindfulness meditation, literally a million things appear. Things have different meanings for different people. Mindfulness meditation to me, is paying attention to something in such a focused way your thoughts can go nowhere else. Be with your focus and you will be meditating in a way that is actually SO much easier than traditional meditation. Any time I just tried to meditate without a focus, my mind went nuts. Suddenly I’m thinking about the grocery list, my bills or what ever other stress I’m trying to forget about. Now all I can think about is how I don’t feel relaxed and I give up. Here are some examples of mindfulness meditation that are easy to do and very effective.
- The Walking Meditation – There is no right or wrong way to do this. You can walk alone or with someone else. If you are walking alone, I suggest you do not listen to music. Listen to the sounds in the environment. Pay close attention to them. What are they? Do you like the sounds? Look at your surroundings. Stop and smell the flowers. Look at the bugs. Look at the different plants and how unique they all are. What does the sky look like today? What does the air smell like? Take slow deep breaths and be grateful that you are able to enjoy everything that is in your path. If you are walking with someone else, stay silent. Take turns walking in front of each other. If you are in front, do the walking meditation as if you are walking alone. If you are in back, you can do the same or you could focus on your partners footsteps. Match them if you want. This is actually extremely relaxing and doubles as exercise!
- The Raisin Meditation – If you don’t like raisins, substitute for a different small fruit or nut. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Get a small handful of raisins. Spread them out on a plate. Look at all their wrinkles. Look at the colors. Do they all look the same? Feel them. Squish them. Roll them in your fingers. Put one in your mouth. Feel it with your tongue. What does it feel like? What does it taste like? Is it changing when you just hold it in your mouth? Chew it slowly. Chew it until it completely dissolves in your mouth. How long did all of that take you? How do you feel? It’s pretty amazing how present you can be with something so small!
- The Window Meditation – Find your favorite window that is most comfortable for you to sit at. The window can be opened or closed. See what you can see from the window. Hear what you can hear. Smell what you can smell. Be with each thing or feeling you have while looking out. Are there any animals? Sounds from your neighbors? Cars passing by? Focus your mind on noticing the things out your window. Pay attention on purpose to every detail you can see and feel.
- The Cloud Meditation – We do this as kids and don’t even know how we are calming our minds as well. Find a relaxing place to sit or lay down outside. The beach is a great place for this! Just cloud gaze and see things in the clouds. Remember when you could look up and see a teddy bear in the sky that slowly drifts away and turns into something else or dissipates into the air? This is a great one to do with kids! Just make sure you put on your sunscreen and sunglasses on before staring into the sky!
- The Candle Meditation – The candle meditation can be done anywhere that is safe to light a candle. Tea lights work well because you can easily hold it in your hand to see the flame more closely. Notice the colors, the movement and the size of the flame. It is more still or does it flicker? How many colors do you see? How many layers? Fire is actually a very calming thing to gaze into. This one is not recommended for children, irresponsible adults or sleepy people. NEVER light a candle and then go to sleep. Please be responsible and safe.
- The Mindful Parent Meditation – Do you have children? Then you’ve already done this. You probably do it or used to do it everyday. Remember those nights rocking your little one? Rubbing their back and their heads. Smelling their hair, singing softly in their tiny ears. Thinking with such a powerful focus about how much you love them. Yes, my dear. You were mindfully meditating.
- You can of course make up your own mindful meditation as well! You just need something to focus on. Something to be with. Something to be present with.
I hope my thoughts on mindful meditation inspired you to try it, opened your eyes or just gave you something to think about. Meditation is so good for our minds and our bodies and in my opinion, practicing mindfulness makes us better people.
Until next time…….