Some believe that they need to “do meditation” as if it’s another thing to shove into their busy lives.
Certainly when we meditate we are in training so-to-speak to bring presence to all that we do. When we use our breath or a mantra in meditation to bring us back from a litany of thoughts running through our minds, it gives us a place to land when we are distracted. Repeatedly practicing in this way ultimately builds our “noticing muscles.” These are the muscles of awareness we need to be present in all that we do as we live our daily lives.
There’s no doubt that it is a challenge to remain present and conscious. Most of us are so caught up with our daily routines, obligations and even the news that we take little or no time throughout our day to simply BE. When we fail to take time out of the doingness of our lives, our level of consciousness cannot help but dissipate. We then become reactive in all that we do. Instead of being fully present in the situation at hand or with the person in front of us, we’re thinking about what we’re going to say or do. When we’re lost in thought in that way, there is simply little room for present moment awareness.
But “doing meditation” simply adds to our already chaotic and busy lives and it sets us up to miss the entire point behind our meditation practice which is to build the muscle of presence and awareness. If meditation becomes something we think we have to DO, we are missing the point of meditation all together.
Use your life as your practice.
In each moment of interaction with another, bring presence.
Yes, it’s a challenge to remain conscious and present. But that IS the practice.
Practice watching the thoughts, feeling the emotions, observing your own reactions.
Observe presence itself behind the content of your mind.
Become the silent watcher in each interaction and each moment of your life.
If you need a place to start, you may find this 5 Senses Practice helpful. This is a simple yet profound practice that can be incorporated into your daily life.