Do I have time to meditate?
In our busy schedules, it is easy to feel that we don’t have any time at all, even for the list we already have.
This is a question that many of us ask when starting out on our spiritual journeys – other things always seem to get in the way. Task lists are never ending.
But this really is the start of a whole new way of being so something has to change ….
If we are really sincere in our desire to find true peace, to go inside of ourselves, to develop the inner awareness that is needed for that to happen it is important to make that precious time available as a real priority.
What we need to do is make a commitment to learning how to create our own, even ‘quick’ moments of stillness in the midst of all of our busy activity.
Meditating doesn’t necessarily mean having to take a lot of time out, finding a comfortable place to sit or having to schedule a quiet place to sit for a whole half hour or so.
It can be done in ‘bytes’ of a couple of minutes at a time. In fact some of us are probably already doing this without even realising, like when we daydream, for example. Or whenever we connect with the heart in a moment of stillness.
Maybe you just did that when you saw the image on the left … before the words even came to your head “What a beautiful image” (or something like that). Maybe your heart connected with the beauty of the reflections on the water or the “chilling out” of the birds who are just “being” …
In these moments we drift away from full-on engagement with our regular activity and become a witnesser to whatever arises from within. We have a natural ability to do this. It happens in our sleep all the time. It is also possible to witness it happening in our day.
Learning to Disengage
Taking a few moments on a regular basis to do this more consciously, to ‘disengage’ and to actively focus on visualising ourselves relaxing in a beautiful place in nature, is a good practice for strengthening the witnesser within and living life from a place of inner peace. It can be practised at any odd moment, whilst standing at the bus stop, waiting for the kettle to boil, when putting your coat on or off, instead of listening to the news … one of the best times is just as you wake up and before you get out of bed. It gives a great start to the day and directs your attention to seeing the beauty in everything.
Just because it is only for a couple of minutes doesn’t mean that it isn’t meditation.
If one hour’s meditation is equal to the relaxation and deep rest you get in four hours of sleep, then imagine what 2 minutes, say five times a day, can do for your health, peace of mind and well-being.
It is an important step towards living from a clear heart and towards being able to let go of being ‘run’ by the incessant demands of our constantly chattering ‘monkey mind’. Left to run amock by itself the mind likes to take control of every moment, leaving you inevitably at the mercy of its constant judgements and demands. When you meditate you are able to see more clearly and make better decisions from a place of serenity and inner peace.
So instead of being fully immersed in the continuously streaming wants, needs and desires of a conditioned ego, maybe we can just take a minute or two to stop, take a deep breath and take ourselves inwardly to some awe-inspiring or comfortable scene or to a remembering of the essence of love, compassion or any other attribute of the wonderfully vast essence of life that is always available to us, that we can choose to ‘tap into’ or ‘tune into’ at any time.
When we do that we will immediately sense a calming effect on the body and we will loosen the impact of whatever stressful event or situation or judgement is happening on the outside or inside of us.
Try it Right Now
Just close your eyes, take a deep breath in and imagine yourself by a beautiful, turquoise-blue sea or in a garden full of scented flowers on a warm, sunny day, birds singing, blue sky …..
You don’t have to see it exactly. Just get the feel of it, or hear the sounds or feel the warm sun on your face …..
How did you do? How do you feel now, having done that 2 minute exercise?
Most people report that they feel much better, instantly.
What is happening is that we are turning our focus away from stress, struggle, being task-driven and so on … towards something higher, the beauty, the peace, the light of God … Given a choice between a higher resource or a lower, the body will always go for the higher.
Our minds do not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Even just imagining being in such a place has an immediate uplifting effect on the body. Endorphins are released that produce feelings of euphoria and well-being.
Of course you need to be open to such a meditation practice for it to work. If you are in resistance to even try, then sabotage sets in and frustration will arise. Ultimately it is down to choice … it is about turning the heart towards what it is naturally inclined towards, when there is no resistance there. Becoming the conscious observer of whatever is here, inside or outside of you, gives you the choice – to receive and to let go of not receiving.
If you take One step towards God, He takes … how many? steps towards you. Our choice is to take the first step. Our path is to open the way to making choices that support our growth, submission to the higher and true contentment.
Let me know how you got on with this little exercise …. you never know, your sharing may help others. Let us grow together
Wishing you much love and light