A moment of mindfulness
Can traditional meditation benefits accrue only when you can sit on a cushion with closed eyes? Or are we missing the benefit of alternative meditative practices that come to us through our daily lives?
When I close my eyes, the world around me quietens. A soft calmness descends on my mind, which follows my body, on cue, into repose through meditation, a moment of mindfulness. I had been meditating by myself off and on, till last year I learnt Transcendental Meditation. In TM, you work with a mantra to guide you into the inner recesses of your mind. Whenever your monkey mind rushes about, the mantra, like a hook, draws you back in. (read how i embraced clean living)
Why do we meditate?
In a world where we are so outwardly focused, meditation pulls you back to yourself. It helps you connect not only with yourself, but the world around too. But I encourage people not to feel restricted. Meditation isn’t only about resting quietly on a cushion with your back erect. For many, a meditative practice can be a walk or a run in the park, cooking, or playing with their children and even pets.
Traditional meditation techniques aren’t the only practices that can benefits you. It’s a practice that draws you well into the moment, minus all distractions. And how difficult it is to live in the moment! This the moment when you go in the zone or are in the flow. Completely in the present, with no ruminations of the past or worries of the present. And what is this if not meditation? An alternate practice that relaxes you is meditation. (you can read the benefits of meditation here)
How I capture moments of mindfulness
Ideally, I try and meditate for 20 minutes a day, and perhaps add 10 minutes of japa. To enter into the state of mind, I prefer to meditate when I wake up in the morning, and if I have time, once at dusk, as the sun melts into the ocean.
For the mind and body to focus ‘dhyana’, I sometimes follow rituals, using essential oils, bath salts and just after the shower, using a light oil for a massage, which is rejuvenating and refreshing. Settling down on a cushion or in a chair, I direct my mind inwards, on to a mantra, soften my breathing, and for a few stolen moments, reconnect with myself.