“Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It is a quieting of the mind.” – Hugh Jackman
Meditation has had many perceptions thrown at it over the years. Certainly, when I was a child in the 90’s, I had it pegged as something you had to perform with your legs crossed, your eyes closed and with your index fingers and thumbs touching. I thought of it as some weird thing that only happened in karate movies. Needless to say, my perception of it, and the integration of it into the western mainstream, has changed considerably since then!
Meditation is not, as I had thought, some mysterious and complex state of mind, but is nothing more than the pursuit of cerebral simplicity. A way to order your thoughts around you, as your consciousness sits in the centre of the mind, in the silence, with a clear, 360-degree view of the world around you.
What’s more, you don’t need to be sitting in that cross-legged position with your eyes closed to do it (although, as I have learnt since I was a child, that position is super comfortable), it can be done in most positions and environments.
Combining meditation and movement
Finding time to focus the mind is really important, especially as both spare time and genuine silence is hard to come by these days. The world is noisy. The world is fast. But think on this, there is a point in your day in which it can easily be put. Meditation whilst walking is very easy to do. Most of us walk every day… whether it is commuting across a city for work or going back and forth between colleagues in the office throughout the day, we generally have to spend time transporting ourselves at some point.
Here are a few ways in which you can meditate on the move… without closing your eyes of course!
Ways to meditate on the move:
One of the key elements and, indeed, outcomes of successful meditation is focus. Although this term can appear to be aggressive and pointed, it is actually quite a calming and compelling state to be in. Music is wonderful for so many reasons, being a medium that is so tied up with memory and emotion, but for meditation it is a particularly handy tool.
Plug in some of your favourite music on the way to work; something that calms you, uplifts you, energises you, or inspires you. It doesn’t matter how it affects you, as long as its affectation is positive. Now focus on it. Enjoy it. Savour it. Let it move you away from the jumble of your other thoughts into a focused stream of consciousness You will arrive at work both emotionally lifted, and in a frame of mind that is prepared for focus and clarity.
All meditation starts with one thing; the breath. This is at the centre… the foundation of most meditations. Bringing yourself back to the breath is the simplest of ideas, yet extremely effective. Your breathing is always with you, everywhere you go. It is something that you can turn to anywhere in the world. So, anytime that you need a moment to yourself, simply bring your attention to your breath. You need not will it to change, all you need to do is notice it. Ponder on it as if there is nothing else in the world. This simple action will steady your heart, your mind, and your emotions.
Connection and observation are also great ways to meditate. It doesn’t have to be a completely inward activity. Peace and clarity for the mind can also be harnessed by connecting with the world.
Instead of burying your head in some digital distraction or going over distressing thoughts in your head, look up and out; take in the world around you. There is always interest and curiosity to be found, wherever you are walking; an office, a street, a shop, a park, a hallway. Look at your environment, take note of it, and appreciate its beauty and mere existence. This will allow you to return to your responsibilities with a lifted mood and a fresh, clear head.
If noticing your surroundings is not enough to clear your mind, then perhaps a more specific meditative activity will help? Pick an object and see how many you can collect as you move through your journey. It could be anything from lamp-posts to yellow cars, from people wearing a hat to dogs. Count them as you go. This is a good structured way to get your head to a place where order prevails!
This article was written for us by International Mindfulness Advocate and Conscious Visionary, Neil Seligman. Neil is dedicated to sharing the power of mindfulness globally, transforming lives, and inspiring excellence in all aspects of human endeavour. He is the Founder of The Conscious Professional, the Author of 100 Mindfulness Meditations, and the Originator of Soul Portrait Photography. For more information about Neil, visit his page here