The idea that you do not have to carve out an hour of cross legged sitting on the floor, sans distractions, thumb and forefingers super glued together to practice meditation might be a shocker.  The idea comes from a book by Adyashanti called True Meditation.  He teaches us that every single moment of our every day regular lives is an opportunity for meditation.  We can now stop referring to meditation under our breath as the “M” word.  This is a game changer.

What this meditation master was talking about in his book we can liken to body awareness, being able to feel what is going on inside yourself at any given moment of the day, whether you are in a sitting mediation, washing the dishes at the kitchen sink, changing a diaper, or balancing your checkbook.  Teaching the idea of body awareness should be a foundation of every healing art.  Without it there isn’t much chance of real healing.  We must feel to heal.  Without awareness, there is no choice, we are stuck in our chattering minds, intent on solving future problems or worrying about past choices and the body can be stuck in one big clench.  

Realizing that any moment could be an opportunity to meditate should cause a sigh of relief.  The full time job, two kids, two dogs, get the proper amount of exercise, traveling spouse, super busy life isn’t going to allow for “proper” mediation.  There is no doubt we need to do it, just no way in hell it is going to happen according to the rule books that we have all previously read.  This new idea is the way in, and it might turn out to be a huge blessing, giving you a practical practice of present moment awareness that could change the way you move through life and enhance opportunities for healing.  

Here are 5 ways you can meditate without sitting down:

  1. Realize that any moment is a chance to feel and be present, so try being present to the feeling in your body as you roll over and sit up in bed in the morning.  What parts of you do you notice?  What kind of thoughts are already entering your mind?
  2. When we drop down inside, shifting our energy and attention from the constant voices or messages in our mind, to the feeling senses, and notice what is going on in the body, we are becoming present to the moment, a moment of meditation.  So try doing this as you interact with the first person of the morning, and notice how your muscles tense in reaction to their voice.  
  3. As you get in touch with your present moment sensations, know that this is a pathway to your healing.  As you gather your things and walk out the door, take a moment to fully arrive in your body as it moves.  You can be aware in any movement...what hurts, what feels tight, what has ease and flow?  As you get active are you checking out and being drawn into your mind chatter?
  4. When you are driving in your car stopped at the light, buttocks and jaw clenched, worried you will be late to your meeting, take a breath.  Unclench.  Be here, now, and feel what your body is doing in response to your stress.  
  5. As you face the day’s challenges, at work with a frustrated co-worker, at home with a sick child, or maybe on the phone with a distraught friend, stay in your body, relax and breathe, present to the tension so that in the same moment of feeling it, you are already releasing it.  

You can respond to life with awareness in this way, and instead of reacting, you can meditate in these moments, allowing each of them to be an opportunity for a calm response and choice.  Does it still count as meditation if I don’t plant my butt cross legged on the floor for a predetermined amount of time?  I think so, and I know at least one meditation master that calls that true meditation. 

Laura Probert, MPT is the owner of Bodyworks Physical Therapy and the author of "Living, Healing and Taekwondo."  She has practiced for over 20 years and specializes in myofascial release, craniosacral therapy and corrective exercise.  Through her brand of physical therapy, her writing and her martial arts skills, she helps others to find their inner warrior and a path to health and joy.  Find out more about her here: www.bodyworksptonline.com

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Comment by Laura Probert, MPT on April 3, 2014 at 7:05am

Oops!  Here we go!

Comment by Trevor Taylor on April 3, 2014 at 4:47am

Coming along nicely - don't forget to pop a brief BIO in at the end of your articles

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