No Time to Meditate?
Research shows the power of mindfulness meditation. But many people believe they don’t have time to meditate. Could brief periods of mindfulness be an effective solution?
How much mindfulness meditation is “enough?”
As part of the 200-hour meditation leader training I recently completed with Sage Institute for Creativity and Consciousness, I researched brief periods of mindfulness to find an answer.
This question has long intrigued me.
At the very first meditation retreat I attended, several decades ago, the teacher directed us to sense our thoughts and body sensations. We slowed our movements and maintained silence to focus on how thoughts and body sensations arose and passed away. She also invited us to practice equanimity. We attempted to allow whatever came into awareness to ebb and flow without pushing or pulling on the experience.
That weekend taught concrete, workable tools to help keep my head where my feet were. I was learning to “ stay in the moment.” My husband, Ed, and I continued a near-daily meditation practice, but I found myself dropping into states of awareness during the day.
I wondered if these tiny “doses” of mindfulness might be helpful.
A few years later, after hearing others lament their inability to meditate (I don’t have time. I can’t concentrate. It’s boring. My mind won’t still.) I began to write a mindfulness meditation book. Every page of this not-yet-published book ends with a “Daily Practice,” a small “dose” of mindfulness.
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”-Bruce Lee
I once worked work with a man who never wore an overcoat, even if it was ten below with a stiff wind. One day as we struggled to cross an icy parking lot against a strong breeze, I asked if he wasn’t cold. “A little,” he replied. “But if you don’t brace yourself against the cold, you don’t feel it.” He said he relaxed into the cold instead. “Don’t make yourself rigid against it.”