How To Find Time To Meditate?

How To Find Time To Meditate?

The 21st century life is indeed a busy one with bustling agendas, domestic chores and to do lists that never end. The ‘I am so busy’ complex is the common woe and we can’t seem to remember the last time we experienced doing nothing.

Ironically enough, the need to find time to meditate and just be mindful, becomes a task in itself and thus, is met with resistance. This is a very common concern shared by several beginners who eagerly wish to kick start their mindfulness practice.

Let’s look at some common blocks that individuals beginning the practice encounter, and learn how they can be tackled!

 

Common Blocks That Individuals Encounter

Too many distractions

Multiple ways of being occupied have been presented to humanity in the last two decades from numerous applications, social networking sites, in addition to regular chores. Though engaging with these helps one relax or unwind, at times, they also take us away from resting in the present moment. In fact, research indicates the rise of feelings of guilt and worthlessness in connection to the use of these mediums. The key therefore, is to use them at selected times of the day, such that we feel refreshed, yet not feel consumed by them.

 

A mindset of not having enough of time

The experience of ‘not having enough time’ is actually a mindset. When time is managed well there can be spaces created to just to experience ‘empty time’ or ‘stillness time’.  Revisit the schedule of the week or day, instill in the schedule moments of breathing, mindfulness and just emptiness. This is a well-deserved treat from being busy all the time.

 

 

Pushing it to ‘another time’

We often tell ourselves, when it comes to making important lifestyle changes that require time and effort: “I will start tomorrow onwards” or “I follow this regularly once (insert random event) is done” Though we all realize we are actually procrastinating, the situation becomes truly ironic in the case of mindfulness. That’s because mindfulness is actually all about being in the present – and not in the future nor the past. Neither is it meant to be part of any goals or lists. It is simply being in the moment. Packaging it for the future is a risk as it would lose its true essence of just being.

 

Expecting to achieve ‘thoughtlessness’ of the mind

Most beginners say that they aren’t able to meditate because they are not able to ‘clear their mind’ of thoughts. The truth is that the ebb and flow of thoughts is continuous and normal and meditation is not about controlling nor about getting rid of thoughts. The only thing that can be truly controlled is attention. So, meditation involves largely paying attention to the breathing. Whether or not you meditate the thoughts will come anyway. There will be thoughts that come and go even while you meditate, and your role is to simply notice these thoughts, acknowledge their presence, but then gently go back to the breathing.

 

 

Creating More Spaces For Meditation

Often meditation is stereotyped to being an act that can be done only if certain conditions are right like quietness, having a private space or being isolated. However, that is not true. Breath meditation is basically a way of practicing mindfulness.

The most basic advantage of this method is that the breath is always present and so, one can choose to focus on the breath at any time.

meditate

Here are some innovative ways to help you creatively make space and time for mindfulness meditation in your life:

How Much Time To Set Aside For Meditation?

It is generally recommended that individuals begin with the least amount of time spent in meditation and gradually increase the duration over time. However, setting aside even those initial few minutes could seem challenging for new meditators.

Begin the day and end the day with just 1 minute of breathing with awareness

Gradually increase the time to 20 minutes a day

Allow time to just be

Scenarios To Practice Mindfulness

time for meditation

When walking, walk. When eating, eat.

Zen Proverb

Besides focusing on the breath, there are several other ways you can be mindful throughout the day.

Mindfulness can be incorporated into any of our daily activities: cooking, gardening, walking, exercising. The point is to be fully present while doing these activities, rather than being lost in thoughts of the past or the future. 

Using Reminders For Being Mindful

A painting of Buddha meditating under a tree adorns the living room wall in Sneha’s house.  Every time her eyes lay on this, she goes back to her breath and it motivates her to sit in meditation.

You could also employ such reminders for yourself:

Set a visual cue on your desk or a wall that you frequently pass

Set a few alarms to remind you to just go back to the breath

Take the help of a mindfulness application on your phone; they usually come with a kit of meditation exercises, trackers and reminders

The Art of Listening