We all understand meditation can help us be more mindful of the present moment. If we're in the moment then we're not in the past or future. Both, unreal places. So deep, I know, but it's true. Too often we forget and fall into auto-pilot mode.
When I think of this mode I can't help but think of zombies. Do you think the zombie trend is a metaphor for our lack of mindfulness?
These days I'm loving the idea of using our senses as the object of meditation. The exercise I'm describing below is an active sitting meditation, but really you can apply this technique anytime, anywhere. Whether you're watching your kids be cute, playing golf, walking, doing dishes, etc...It will help you be more present.
Sit comfortable with your legs crossed or flat on the floor. You want your hips to be higher then your legs if possible. Your back and neck are straight but soft. Relax your body, releasing tension from your toes to head. Breathe softly and smoothly. Connect with your breath gently eventhough it won't be your main focus.
Open your eyes and gaze softly 4-6 feet in front of you. Just notice the spot. Don't analyze it. Don't judge it. Let your eyes rest on this place. Just notice what you're seeing.
Continue to do this with your eyes gazing down at your umbilicus area. Just notice that place. Again, no judgement.
Finally, bring your eyes to the bridge of your nose. Don't strain, just look.
When you realize you're thinking, gently go back to seeing.
Listen to the sounds that are distant, the near distance, and the sounds that are close. Hear your heartbeat. Allow whatever you hear to deepen your relaxed state. Just listen. Don't judge or analyse the sounds. just take them in with your awareness. Let all the sounds - even the sound of silence allow you to be still.
Feel your feet on the floor. Really connect with the soles of your feet rooted into the ground. Feel your legs against your chair. Feel the back expanding into the seat behind you as you inhale. Feel your hands on your legs. Feel the air around your hands. Notice if you feel your pulse. If you connect with your pulse, can you feel it in your chest? Notice the air around your face. Simply notice.
Light some incsense if you like it. Or, you can open a bottle of essential oil and slowly move the oil back and forth under your nose. Notice the scent. Again, don't judge. Notice the brightness, or heaviness. Is it deep or light. Is it fresh, crisp, or rich? Just be present in the act of smelling. How long does the scent last? Does it bring anything up for you? Any feelings, memories, or visuals? Notice those but don't grasp onto them.
Taste something simple. Chocolate is perfect because you can mindfully taste without chewing. Simply be aware of the taste without judging if you like it or not. Don't focus on texture or the way it feels. Just concentrate on how it tastes.
Some of you may find that this it's almost easier to get into a relaxed meditative state using your sense as the object of meditation. Great! Use it all the time. Or use it to help you begin then move onto your breath or an emotion, or visuaization. Whatever works!
I'm excited because I'm using this technique for my tennis game. Please don't hesitate to share your experiences. Have you noticed this helps you to connect with the moment?In what way?