Create Your Own Meditation

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This post comes from contributor Kristen Hedges.

As a meditation teacher, I’m quite used to the excuses folks fancy up when I tell them that a bit of daily meditation would do their mind & body good.

I just don’t have time, is a common one.

But in reality, meditation doesn’t have to be the act of sitting on the floor for half an hour with legs folded and hands resting on your knees. You can transform anything into a meditation. For any act, when done mindfully, with your absolute and loving presence, becomes a meditation.

Rather than telling my students to block out a chunk of time to practice seated meditation, I tell them to first create their own meditation. That way, they don’t need to change anything in their schedule, they don’t need to find a babysitter or spend any money on a retreat – they only need to create a subtle shift in the way they look at things.

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Step one: Pick something that you do every day, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what it is – brewing coffee, stepping off the front porch, walking your children to school, stepping onto the yoga mat, going for an evening run around the block – they’re all the same. But be specific. Make it something tangible. Something solid.

Step two: Close your eyes, right now, and vow to do this thing with absolute mindfulness. Vow to drop the distractions. The petty thoughts that cloud out the potential of the moment. Every day, from this moment on, this one, daily thing will become your meditation.

Step three: When it comes time to do this thing, take a moment to close your eyes. Breathe in to the count of four, and out to the count of eight. Allow the background noise in your mind to settle. Focus all of your attention to the center of your chest. Your thoughts can rest there, if it helps, like a bird finding its perch. Now, open your eyes. Practice your meditation. Stay mindful the entire way through.

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For the entire drive to work, notice the birds in the sky. The way the wheel feels beneath your knuckles. For the whole cup of coffee, allow the mug to brush your lips. Smile, sip. Don’t chug. And after you’re done, notice how relaxed your body feels. Notice the subtle hum of stillness in your mind. Then, carry on with your day.

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Now eventually, when you’re brewing your coffee or driving to work, your mind will feel open and clear from the start. Mindfulness will become a habit. When that happens, try adding something else. Pick another thing that you do daily, and another, and after a bit of practice, most of your day will become a living, breathing meditation. That shift in the mind will become second nature. And suddenly, things that once tied your belly in knots, like commuting to the office, or spending money at the supermarket, will have the remarkable power to heal you.

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You can find Kristen here, and at facebook.com/withonlylove.

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Comments

Beka -March 31, 2014, 9:54AM

This is a wonderful article! I’m going to try this with a few of my daily activities.

Maria -March 31, 2014, 9:58AM

This is great advice. I need some meditation in my life, for sure, so I will be trying this!

Melody Sage -March 31, 2014, 11:04AM

Love this! I meditate in the shower, except I like to throw visualizations into the mix too.

amy -March 31, 2014, 3:11PM

Please tell us where the cards are from in the top photo! they look wild unknown-ish, but i don’t think they are…where are they from? love.love.love. this post btw!

Kristen -March 31, 2014, 3:33PM

Hey Amy! They’re the meditation cards I made! They were on sale for a while on my website, but I’m currently refining the printing quality before ordering more decks. If you keep up with my facebook page, facebook.com/withonlylove, you’ll see when I stick more in my shop! xo

Kasey -March 31, 2014, 4:07PM

This is definitely a brand new perspective. Great post, I’m definitely going to try it out!!
https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12020205/paeonia

Susan Jizba -March 31, 2014, 8:19PM

I love doing meditation and being more mindful… every year the time goes faster and faster… its so important slow things down. to put down the cell phone…take a walk instead of a drive…to sit on the front step and look at the clouds…see the shapes they create as they build, spread, drift…to feel the childlike wonder again…there is so much beauty in the everyday…if you stop and look…. I think this article is to remind ME to do this. Thank you! : )
https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWeaverOfWords

Krystal -March 31, 2014, 8:56PM

This is an absolutely wonderful and enlightening post. I have been trying to practice mediation for a while now but sometimes it is difficult using the approach that I have learned to practice mediation amongst all the loudness and hustle of life. Meditating while drinking my coffee or walking my dog is a healthy and easy alternative that I am actively going to attempt to instill in my everyday routine! Thanks for the information and guidance!

Krystal | http://www.moorekrystal.wordpress.com

caridad isabel barragan -April 1, 2014, 4:22PM

I paint a little painting 4-5 days a week.
It’s become a daily appointment of sorts.
I really do like the contemplative aspect of it.
My mind is uncluttered while painting.
I only think about the flower I have before me.

Shiv Sharma -April 2, 2014, 1:08AM

Thanks for the article shared here. I like very much doing exercises daily to keep my health fit. I do half-an-hour meditation which boosts my positive energy levels. I suggest readers to follow meditation daily that adds healthy colors to your life.

Olivia Mullen -April 2, 2014, 11:16AM

love this idea!

Jessa Gibboney -April 17, 2014, 4:47PM

A little late to the party… but this is brilliantly written and I cannot wait to incorporate into my new daily routine and begin this journey of self-meditation. Thank you :)

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