The Easiest Meditations

by Nneka Kelly

Mysticism surrounds the practice of meditation. Rightfully so, but sometimes mystery and complications step into the picture and makes meditation more perplexing than it needs to be. Simply put, meditation is the practice of bringing your attention to the present moment. Any activity that helps you to do that qualifies. Sure, it can be a formal, austere practice, but in the beginning it’s more important to practice than it is to perfect it. That said, here are 5 activities that qualify as an easy meditation.

Cleaning

Cleaning is great if you’re very angry and you’re having trouble focusing. As you scrub the bathroom tub, anger miraculously gives way to peace. If you’re done scrubbing the tub and you’re still angry or having problems focusing, start sweeping or vacuuming. As you clean outside, you can feel your insides getting cleaner too. Soon you are lost in the activity. When you realize this, try bringing your attention back into the present.

Cleaning works as a meditation because it is repetitive motion that requires energy. From washing the dishes to mopping floors, to waxing your car, you can sink into the motion and concentrate on the actions you are taking. You can watch your movements and delve deeper and deeper into them.

Walking

Every step establishes your cadence. While you walk, you can meditate by paying attention internally and gradually moving it externally. You can start by paying attention to the pace of your breath and the movement of your bones and sinews. You can move your attention from one organ to the next, blessing it and seeing it whole. Then you can shift your thoughts to your surroundings. If you’re in a city, listen for the rhythm of the city amid the seeming chaotic noise. If you’re in the country or suburbs, take in the scents around you.

While you’re busy taking in every morsel of life, your mind will have a moment to rest. You interrupt the chatter for a moment. Novel ideas can then percolate into your awareness.

Journaling

When I journal, the thoughts seem to flow out of my brain, down my arms, through my fingers and onto the page, until there is light streaming into my mind and following the same path. I continue writing then, but the pronoun changes from ‘I’ to ‘you’.

Stream of consciousness journaling is very cathartic. Writing out the jumble of random busy-ness in your mind gets it on the page and clears a space where there is no more jibber-jabber. From that moment, your being begins to speak to you. It’s not so much it beginning to speak, but that you can finally hear what it is saying.

Painting

Remember the scene in the movie Hero where Broken Sword is doing the calligraphy while there’s a battle going on outside? That’s meditation through painting. Following the strokes, watching the paint bleed into the paper, turning your wrist to control the flow of paint – it’s melodic and calming. It brings you to the canvas. You can paint your pain until you give way to the expression of Beauty within.

Chanting

Sometimes I choose a word or phrase and repeat it for my meditation. This is called a mantra. They lull you into a melody as you chant them. when your mind is busy, but you want to do a quiet, light meditation, you can start off with a mantra, like Om or Let Go Let God, to get centered and still. You can also use the mantra for the duration of the meditation period. You will find that it pulls you deeper and deeper into yourSelf. Soon, it falls away and you are in silence.

Meditation can be done at any time. A friend of mine likes to meditate while driving. He’s in autopilot mode on his way to his destination, and he chants while driving. When he arrives, his Spirit precedes him. Another friend loves to do embroidery. As she stitches along, her chitter chatter is preoccupied with the motions and her mind goes blank. When I catch her in these moments, her face looks completely relaxed and bright as the sun.

What do you do for an easy meditation?

In Spirit,
Nneka

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Cockrum May 11, 2007 at 9:27 am

These are some terrific ideas, Nneka. As I read the one about using cleaning as a meditation (very effective, by the way), I had the sudden urge to say “Wax on. Wax off.” :-)

I don’t know that I would want to be with the guy who meditates while he’s driving. He may be better served using the driving itself as a meditation.

Another instance I’ve found simple and convenient is when I’m brushing my cats. Focusing only on the brushing, the feel of the cat’s body and fur, and seeing the connection between the cat and I makes it more pleasurable and calming for both of us.

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alicia May 11, 2007 at 11:25 am

I agree, great ideas :) I use cleaning, walking, and journaling – I’ve never been able to get the mantra thing down, though.

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Nneka May 11, 2007 at 11:29 am

@Rick, I resisted, LOL.

@Alicia, welcome! I made prayer beads the other night, now I do the mantra with the bead. Between the 2 I’m really focused.

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Ivana May 11, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Great ideas. I use cleaning, when I am angry, and journaling, when sad and depresed. And I ought to be angry more often :-)

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Nneka May 11, 2007 at 2:07 pm

@Ivana, LOL! I’m with you.

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Renee May 12, 2007 at 7:39 pm

I had a moment of perfect meditation this week while watching my children blow and chase bubbles. The weather was perfect, there was a slight breeze, and I sat there in the shade under the willow, watching the three of them have the time of their lives, all of us surrounded by beautiful, floating bubbles. I closed my eyes and let the sound of their laughter lead me into a relaxed and perfectly content place.

-Renee
wear the law of attraction

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Marth May 29, 2007 at 5:23 am

Thanks for this post, Nneka. All your ideas have worked well for me, too. Washing dishes used to be something I put off, until I discovered it could be a calming ritual. Another thing that I find very grounding, if you’ll pardon the pun ;-), is spending some time in the garden. Pulling weeds and communing with the plants restores my peace very quickly.

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Andy Schmitt June 15, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Consider yourself tagged for the “High Vibes” blog!!!!

http://thedailypositive.com/archives/58

Stay Positive!

Andy

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