Jay Vidyarthi is the User Experience Lead for Muse and a practicing meditator in various traditions. He sent us this post to share with the community.
Just like a performer rehearses or an athlete trains, meditators practice experiencing life in the present moment. This kind of practice is a waste of time if you don’t apply it in daily life.
Easier said than done.
Wherever you are right now – looking at your phone, tablet, or computer – close your eyes for a moment, relax your jaw, and take 5 seconds to pay attention to a single breath as it flows in and out.
Do it now – I’ll wait… . . . . . .
Be honest to yourself for a moment – did you rush past that instruction? Did you skip down here and keep reading without a second thought? Such is the pace of life. Once we get on a train of thought or into a mental pattern, it carries a certain momentum that takes real effort to divert.
So let’s try it again. It only takes 5 seconds, so this time, put some effort in! Stop, close your eyes, relax your jaw, and pay attention to a single breath as it flows in and out – do it now.
Even when we meditate every single day, it’s somehow surprisingly difficult to actually stop and take time to practice in the midst of mental patterns in everyday life. This is where techniques, tricks, and tools can help.
One of my favourite tricks
Reframe the concept of “waiting” into an opportunity to meditate. Whenever you find yourself waiting – at the bus stop, a waiting room, in traffic, etc. – recognize your own mental patterns (boredom, impatience, rumination, frustration, etc.), and address them by using this time for a short little meditation session.
Take the opportunity to notice the nuanced and subtle progression of your breath. Notice the details in the world around you, listen to the sounds in your environment as intently as you would a beautiful piece of music.
Translate your boredom into wonder for a moment. Find the joy and gratitude in this strange mystery of your conscious experience before proceeding with your day. Never “wait” again.