7 Unconventional Meditation Hacks

October 11, 2017

This week's musical tune to compliment the {field note} below as you read, meditate or do what you please: Jam Here.

 

We all need ways to unplug and recharge. A common way to disconnect from the excess is through meditation, which in turn, can increase our happiness, focus and productivity in a fresh way. Furthermore, meditation can ignite an engagement to present moment awareness and this is one of the key components to building A Space to Be and Love: Ultimately, to be present with what we love most.

 

However, do you ever find it challenging, difficult or too time consuming to sit in a cross legged position for any extended period of time? As a prior Reiki Master in San Diego who studied mind-body techniques for 10+ years, this was one of the most common things I heard when I facilitated classes and workshops.

 

Luckily, there are other ways to decompress, find inner peace and calm, and decrease stress and anxiety. I’ve made a list of seven alternative methods to mindful living below that I’ve personally used and refer to as “active meditations.” This is where we can be highly engaged in an activity that in turn can quiet the inner noise.

 

WARNING: MEDITATION MAY CAUSE INCREASED COMPASSION, OPTIMISM, and BETTER HEALTH.

 

1. Yoga:

Even though this list is in no apparent order, I put yoga at the top because yoga postures were actually originally designed to systematically prepare the body to meditate! The beauty of this practice is that we use our breath in each and every posture, and when we allow for the breath to slow down and sync with the bodies movement, a sense of calm is cultivated. This can not only strengthen our bodies, but our awareness too. There are many other practices similar to yoga I have experienced over the years such as Falun Dafa, Chi Gong and Tai Chi. Although I have resonated with yoga the most, I believe all of these practices offer similar benefits and cultivation of energy through mind body spirit connection.

 

2. Walking meditation:

I remember the first time I tried walking meditation. I was 19 and found myself at a Buddhist monastery in San Diego. I was the only one that spoke English and boy did thoughts begin to fill my mind! However, as soon as the practice began with the sound of a Tibetan bowl, I was easily able to observe and find a universal flow amidst the older crowd I was experiencing this ancient practice with. I would feel the back heel of my foot ground to the earth as I slowly shifted the weight to the front. It was simple, and yet through this exercise, I found it to be quite profound. These small, slow and deliberate steps later had me practicing everywhere from labyrinths large and small to simply doing so in my backyard… truly a practice that can be taken anywhere at any time.  

 

3. Picking wildflowers:

Walking meditation can be great but what if you need a task that doesn’t feel at all like meditation? The simple act of picking (growing or arranging) flowers can help us to get into a state of selfless mind, which in turn can quiet the “monkey mind.” As we can become familiar with natures natural cycles, this too can help us to detach and let go from that which no longer serves us, and aids us to set our priorities straight.

 

4. Other outdoor activities: 

Similar to picking wildflowers, meditation in nature can awaken something within us and in turn can allow us to experience life’s everyday magic within a natural rhythm and flow. I currently live a short drive to Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. I was told there are a vast amount of Lake Superior Agates in surrounding areas so I began to “hunt” in search for these beauties. Through gravel pits and lake shore, I'd come to find these small treasures with their translucent glow as the sun hit them just right. I found this to be a good way to become aware of my surroundings while also getting to learn a little more about geology and lapidary skills. Another practice for the outdoors I’ve been studying about is Forest Bathing. This is a Japanese framework for healing and wellness that I look forward to trying when the weather permits this upcoming year.

 

5. Color outside of the lines:

Who said coloring books only had to be for children?? There are so many magical adult coloring books these days. Coloring is an easy way to occupy the hands while calming the mind as it allows the subconscious mind to let go. It can unlock our creative potential and perhaps remind us of simpler days that we explored in childhood. I don’t know about you, but this form of active meditation makes my Kindergarten-self proud!

 

6. Puzzles:

Like coloring books, puzzles too, can keep the mind active and awake in a meditative way. This activity keeps both the right and left sides of the brain active while getting into the creative state of mind where deeper connections can be made. As a metaphor for life, when starting a puzzle, there can be much confusion and disorientation but as we connect the pieces, the many aspects of our life are able to come together.

 

7. Last but not least, building a tiny house!

Just kidding. But really… There can be such joy in the art of submersing ourselves into such an activity where we are able to feel our hands build something out of nothing. 

There are many documented, scientific studies that have shown the benefits of meditation. It can reduce bad habits, help you sleep better, increase memory and so much more. With practice over time, it can be utilized in just about anything, ranging from, for example,playing an instrument to washing the dishes.

 

To get started, I recommend trying what excites you most… for it just might possibly be a technique that can work best for you and your lifestyle! It all begins with the magical moment of Now… 

Please be advised that I am not a health care professional. These practices are solely my opinions with what has worked for me. Want to learn more about creating space to be present with what you love most? Sign up HERE to get magical moment emails delivered straight to your inbox so you can travel in the field without being a tourist.

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