10 Ways to Connect to the Present Moment Without a Meditation Cushion

10 Ways to Connect to the Present Moment Without a Meditation Cushion
young woman meditating enjoying the outdoors
Karson McGinley

You’ve heard the benefits of meditation, and maybe you have a devoted formal practice that gets you up before sunrise. But your ability to connect to the present moment needn’t be limited to the time you are sitting on your zafu or meditation seat. When you soften your expectations of what mindfulness practices look like from the outside, you find that there are many ways you can dip into focused concentration and embodied awareness. Try implementing these habits into your daily routine and before long, mindfulness will become a way of life.

“Wherever you are, that is the entry point.” –Kabir, 15th century Indian poet

1. Listening Meditation

Start where you are. Take a moment while sitting at your desk, taking a break at work, or even eating in a restaurant while your tablemate is in the bathroom. Practice experiencing each sound as it happens, without trying to judge it, label it, or push it away. If you find yourself getting irritated by the sounds around you (e.g., “I’m trying to write an article here; why won’t that dog stop barking?”), try using the sounds as a tool for mindfulness. Bind your consciousness to the sounds as an indication of what is happening during the exact moment you are in. Over time, your attitude toward the sounds around you will change from annoyances to opportunities for awareness. 

2. Keep a Journal

Start your days or end your nights with an investigation into your thoughts and feelings. You may numb out on alcohol, drugs, television, or other distractions and miss the opportunity to uncover what your feelings are trying to actually tell you. Feelings do not just go away if left unacknowledged, so take a few minutes several times a week to work through what’s going on with you on the inside. Bear witness to how the emotions shift as you shine the light of awareness on them; they always pass. Mindfulness in this way means giving your emotions the attention they deserve, the way you would to a friend or family member.

3. Eye Gazing

Gaze into the eyes of your baby, a pet, or a partner who’s willing. Depending on who you share this experience with, you may find silent eye contact to be awkward at first, but consider the benefits of social …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra

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