Life often asks us to wait, and a lot of this waiting can feel crushingly pointless. We cool our heels in lines at the supermarket, the bank, or at a restaurant. We spend hours stuck in traffic, held up in airports, or sitting at a desk. I find wasted time to be an unpleasant experience. Life is too short to be eaten up by all these dull, meaningless moments.
These days we have the option to zone out into our smartphones, but I contend that playing Candy Crush while lingering in the doctor's office doesn't really give much meaning to that half an hour. It's still a waste of precious time, albeit a pleasant one.
A much more powerful way to engage these moments is to practice on your meditation skills as you go about your day. With a little bit of adaptability, you can gain valuable and effective meditation practice while watching the clock hands crawl at the DMV. Do simple (and safe) meditation exercises while you are stuck in traffic or waiting at the airport. Every formerly wasted moment can become a part of your mindfulness training regimen. Here are some possibilities:
- Breathe -- This standard-issue meditation practice has a lot going for it, including the fact that you can do it almost continuously while going about your daily business. Just tune into the body sensations associated with the act of breathing, while continuing to breathe normally. Feel the raising and lowering of your rib cage, the movement of the diaphragm, the rush of air in your nostrils, and so forth. You'll notice how your breath quickens in certain situations, but actually seizes up in others -- remember to just keep breathing.
Of course it's important to keep your eyes open while doing all of these in public, which may be different than your normal technique. Nevertheless this meditation in motion practice will serious up the hours per week you spend doing something useful and positive. They may even help you to be present in every situation and experience of your life. And that's the goal, isn't it?
Photo by moonux
Read more about meditation on Deconstructing Yourself