I’m just going to go ahead and say it:
It ain’t easy to build a regular meditation practice.
Despite having meditation training, a once-robust practice, and a sincere desire to reclaim some of the calm, focus and insight that I know first-hand meditation can provide, I am still struggling with it.
There are just so many other things to do. Working for a living and taking care of a family, for example. Since I haven’t figured out how to compute meditatively yet, I’ve been using one of my daily parenting duties as my designated meditation time—nursing the baby. While it’s kind of bizarre to meditate with another creature attached to your body, it’s something I can’t skip. And it’s something that requires me to sit still, often in a quiet room.
Great, you might be saying, what if I’m not breastfeeding?? I know there’s something you do frequently that requires you to sit and be quiet: a commute, a wait in the doctor’s office, a bath, a traffic jam, a pick-up from school.
If you’re still sitting there thinking, no, nope, can’t do it then, doesn’t apply to me, then how about this: a wine meditation. Perhaps because you’re so incredibly healthy you follow the Mediterranean Diet to a tee and have a nightly glass of red wine for the heart health benefits and mega-dose of antioxidants. Or, maybe you just think wine happens to be a great stress reliever—I certainly wouldn’t argue with you on that point! You can boost the stress-busing effect of that glass of wine through the roof by approaching it with a meditative focus. By savoring each mouthful, you give your mind something to focus on, which is when the magic happens—the stream of your thoughts slows down, your body relaxes, and you go into a quiet zone where brilliant thoughts naturally arise. And the more you do, the better you’ll feel. I promise. The hardest part is simply deciding that now is the time.
(Note: If wine’s not your thing, know that you can do this with any eating or drinking ritual—the morning cup of coffee or tea, the mid-afternoon chocolate, the after-work snack you too frequently eat standing in front of the open fridge.)
Pour yourself a glass of wine in the nicest glass you have. You want this beverage to appeal to all your senses—a lovely glass not only looks nice, it will feel good in your hands.
Carry your glass of wine to a quiet, comfortable spot to sit and take a good seat—both feet flat on the floor, spine tall, chest open.
Look at your glass of wine and take a moment think of all the people and processes involved in getting it in to your hands—the soil the vines grew in, the sunshine that ripened the grapes, the farmers that planted and picked them, the trees that made the barrels, the designer who created the label, the tree that grew the cork…you get the idea.
Grasp the glass and really feel how it feels in your hand, its weight and texture.
Lift the glass and take a big inhale. What kinds of things can you smell?
Take a sip and let it sit on your tongue for a few moments. What is happening in your body? Close your eyes and really focus on the flavors. Take at least one full inhale and exhale before you swallow.
Once that first sip is down, notice, what has changed in your body?
Repeat until the glass is done. You might want to start with a small pour—the idea is to make meditation so appealing that you actually do it and then feel accomplished. If you lose focus half-way through a ginormous glass of wine, that kills some of the purpose.
Congrats to Justin Credible!!
Justin (if that is his real name – hmmmm) shared his meditation technique on the MsMindbody Facebook page and it’s so simple and elegant, I selected him to win the copy of the Putumayo Yoga CD and to publish his comment here. If you’ve had a recent meditation experience, come tell us about it! We’ve got a nice little conversation going, and we’d love to hear from you.
“I meditate about once a week while on a break at work. I only do it if there’s a lot of stress during a certain day, and I feel refreshed and ready to go back to work.
I sit as perfectly upright as possible, balancing myself so no muscles are needed to maintain my position so I can fully relax. I clear my mind of all busy thoughts, focusing on breathing. I envision exhaling stress and impurity (looks red to me) from my mouth and inhaling pure positive energy (appears like a couple of light shades of cyan to me) through my nose. I continue this until I am no longer able to exhale any red. It doesn’t take very long. Sometimes I’ll meditate longer to just breathe in and out positivity, but not always.
I made this as simple as I could because I never had much extra time. There is little to no time wasted, Even if I close my eyes for one second with my technique, I can feel much less stressed.”
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