It seems that people are talking about meditation these days—a lot.
Maybe it’s just the type of publications and websites that I frequent, but it seems that someone is always writing articles about “Why I get up early to meditate” or “Is it okay to meditate in the office?” or “How to fit meditation into your busy schedule.”
Many of these articles are valid, providing tired and anxious souls with practical advice for including a meditation practice into their daily routines.
However, limiting meditation to 15 minutes in the morning and going on with the rest of your day is the equivalent to going to church on Sunday and forgetting about God for the rest of the week.
Everything is meditation.
Generally, we incorporate meditation into our lives because we want change, peace and balance. Finding time during the day to sit in silence, legs crossed, mind empty of intruding thoughts, is vitally important. But that is only one element of meditation.
Meditation is everything.
Mindful living requires focus, not just when we are sitting in silence, but in every moment, action, word and thought in our lives—or at least as many as possible. None of us are perfect, though when we commit to living a pure lifestyle, we must learn to be mindful in every aspect of our lives. Meditation is, after all, the art of being present.
When we are truly present, each moment in our lives must be truly appreciated. Our senses open to absorb all of the stimuli in the environment, mind and heart open to feel the presence of the divine, inside and out.
Meditation then, is everything. Meditation is the way we eat, walk, swallow, talk, breathe, smile, laugh and especially the way we treat the people, animals, plants and objects in our lives.
Giving over completely to meditation, we begin to feel air sliding in and out, lungs stretching as we breathe. We can feel energy being released in our bodies each time we chew, savoring the taste and texture of our food. We can feel the life force in motion, each time our feet lift from the ground, joints lubricated, stretching forward, landing carefully on the waiting earth.
Especially, we begin to sense the light and divine spirit in every living being.
When meditation is truly incorporated into living, we begin to forget that words like enemy, hatred and regret even exist. It doesn’t matter if you meditate in the name of God, Allah, Krishna or Buddha. Meditation is a practice that transcends labels.
Living meditation is simply the art of being present in each moment, appreciating the multitude of gifts in our lives and expressing gratitude for the divine presence in everything.
So today, we can try letting meditation seep into the different corners of our lives. Instead of walking and texting, we can put our phones away and feel the movement flowing through our hips, knees, ankles, toes. Walk like we mean it.
Instead of rushing through a meal to get on to the next task, we can eat slowly, experiencing the tastes and textures of our food fully. We can feel the energy being released into our bodies as we chew, fueling our movements.
Instead of thinking about car payments as we talk to others, we can look into their eyes, notice their expressions, see the light sneaking out from inside. Everyone has a piece of the divine inside, see it?
Living meditation doesn’t mean that we can’t also make time to sit quietly each day, with crossed legs and mind swept clean. But, practicing meditation in everything will almost certainly add more color, flavor, music, peace, balance, focus and smiles to our lives.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Peter Schaller
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Hartwig HKD/Flickr