There are many reasons why people meditate: some may meditate for body-mind relaxation, while others may meditate for spiritual connection. No matter what, meditation is all about awareness—mindfulness of what is happening around you, such as your breathing, your bodily sensations, and, most importantly, your thoughts. Without this acute awareness or mindfulness, there is no relaxation of the mind and the body, not to mention the spiritual connection to a Higher Being. Meditation is all about re-focusing the mind on what is important and discarding what is irrelevant or insignificant. In other words, meditation helps you not only prioritize but also change perspectives regarding events in your life.
Meditation has its practical application in everyday life; meditation holds the key to the art of living well.
How does meditation apply to your everyday life? How can you bring all attributes and benefits of meditation to your day-to-day world?
Meditation is finding the quiet or stillness between sounds and thoughts and experiences. It is this underlying quietness—so quiet that you can almost hear it—that forms a link between you and your sensations and thoughts. The goals of meditation are: awareness of your adaptation to cope with the mundane world, such as dealing with attitudes and behaviors, as well as pain and stress; knowing yourself better, such as the reasons for your anger; self enlightenment or divine illumination, such as the purpose of your existence. Meditation is essentially a mental training of acute awareness or mindfulness of breathing, physical sensations, and mental thoughts, and the perception of timelessness—focusing on only the present moment or what is “real” at the present moment.
Now, how do you apply meditation to your day-to-day world?
By training your awareness only to remain present in whatever activity you are undertaking in real life, you will find yourself right in the center of that activity you are engaging in. In this way, you will be doing your very best, and meanwhile getting the greatest satisfaction from doing so.
To illustrate, say, you are doing a mundane everyday chore, such as washing the dishes or taking out the trash—something you may not like to do, but you are doing it anyway because you have to. If you have had training in meditation, you will know how to keep uninvited thoughts to a minimum while you are doing the dishes or taking out the trash, and thus enabling you to be in the center of what you are experiencing as well as to do it without distraction. A mind trained in meditation leads to a state of stillness that can be maintained no matter what you are doing, or what is happening around you. That is the power of meditation.
The principles of meditation can be applied to the non-meditating part of your everyday life, such as walking.
As you begin walking, let go of the outside world.
Focus on your breathing: listen to the relaxed sound of your breathing in and breathing out.
Make your walk slow and purposeful.
As you are walking, observe each step that you are making. Notice all the physical sensation of your feet, as well as the way your arms are swinging back and forth, brushing against your body.
If unwanted thoughts come, re-focus your awareness on your breathing and physical sensations.
Likewise, you can turn any everyday activity into meditative nature in order to enhance your awareness and clarity of mind, which can be life-transforming in the following ways:
Your senses come to life.
You see how things change from moment to moment, so you have a better understanding of what is important and what is “real” in your life.
You find it easier to let go of things you found difficult to let go in the past.
These are the sublime benefits of meditation. You can turn meditation, which is a mindful, in-the-moment mental exercise, into everyday activity, and it can be applied to all aspects of your life. Let meditation transform your life for the better.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau