Being in the present moment. Feeling the energy that streams through your body. Being in the flow. We all know how that feels. We all have experienced that. These are the shinning moments in life. These are the days, when we feel alive. We feel strong, confident and in peace with ourself. We feel energetic and in control. Nothing that comes our way bothers us. We stand over these things. We are floating above the earth, so to speak. Above our problems.
Thinking about meditation, that is what we want to achieve, right? We want switch off, reconnect to our own body, have a moment to gather our thoughts. But what do we really do?
Do we really invest a lot of time into this process? Do we really try to meditate, focus on our breath work, close our eyes. Do we try new methods and experiments? For example with sounds, smells, special lights and decorations. Do we take a seat next to a life size buddha statue, ignite a joss stick or two and wear a strange looking buddhist robe. Do we wander around in circles, barefoot of course or even stepping outside our comfort zone, walking through the fresh grass, that is still wet from the morning dew. Do we listen to smooth ambient sounds that guide us towards ourself. Is that what we do? Is that how we try to arrive at our finally destination? Find our inner peace, find our center? Diving deep into our own body, going to the very spot, that we tend to forget about so fast in this modern life?
Well, that all sounds quite fancy and actually quite promising to have an impact on our meditation quality. But really practical? That’s something else, right? We do not have time for all of this. All that preparation, all that wondering around. Sure, sometimes we like to have a little foreplay, but not when it comes to meditating, to be honest.
It needs to be more simple, more efficient and definitely not that obvious that we are trying to get one level deeper into our own soul. What might our neighbors say if they are seeing us, wandering around barefoot on a sunny Saturday morning? Therefore, todays post is exactly about that. How can we get into the mood for doing our meditation practice in an effective and efficient way?
First of all we need to realize, that a human being tends to get used to everything, it just takes a while. By the way, that’s the reason why you just do what you do. There are a lot of things in your life that you are doing in that one particular way. Not because that is the most efficient, or effective, or cheapest way, but because you repeated it that often, that you have formed a habit for doing it. Having this in mind, we are not really looking for the ultimate mood booster, but rather looking for certain ways, how we can get the most out of our unique lifestyle.
Sure, igniting a joss stick might work at home, but definitely not in a bus, or a train, or an airplane. Therefore we need to find the right strategy for the situations at hand.
Being at home
You are at home, maybe in the evening, or in the morning, or in the afternoon after work. At home, you can basically do what ever you want to do. Just try to make it relaxing and not stressing in any way. What I personally do is using a certain type of music, which introduces the first emotional reaction without doing anything. I put my phone away and work with special light colors. A light submarine red, a fresh ocean blue, a night vision green. These are the colors that are working for me. It take me literally 30 second to switch on that fancy light, start my Spotify app, trigger my meditation process at my hand and put my phone away. In case you want to work with lights as well, darkening the room and stuff. Make sure that your phone screen is turned upside down, because even if you have closed your eyes, you will notice the screen flashing into life the moment someone texted you.
At public places, work, bus, park, garden
Being at a public place means of course, you can leave your fancy orange looking buddhist rope at home. Believe me, this will be the best for the sake of your reputation and future career. But what can you do in these situations? For sure, you can listen to music via headphones, but I actually used them for something else. How often did I had the situation at work, that I wanted to have a short five minute break, getting my thoughts together and preparing myself for the upcoming situation. Maybe an important meeting, or a conversation on the phone but people wouldn’t let me do that properly. Sure, I couldn’t really leave the building or something like that, therefore, I was just standing in the coffee corner. Well, not the best place if you want to avoid interacting with other people, but in this case, your headphones actually work as a pretty good wingman. What I was doing, was just plugging them into my ears, even without actually having my phone with me and was just pretending to listen to music. If it is stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid, right? People did not disturbed me. Sure, they were thinking their part about me, but I already know that I am strange, so where is the deal?
But for sure, that is not enough. What you need is something like a strong trigger, that instantly gets you into the right mood.
Over the years, I was trying to work with objects, sentences and breathing exercises, but neither of them really worked well. Only recently I realized, that you don’t want that trigger to be too difficult to perform. It shouldn’t be an object, or a very energy consuming process, but instead, a very easy thing, that you can trigger everywhere and anywhere. This can be a certain hand position, like rubbing your hands together, or a rather static trigger, where you are pushing on a certain spot of your body, or feeling your pulse. Just make sure that it is something, others wouldn’t interpret as inappropriate behavior for the situation you are in. But I guess, you already know what I am talking about. For sure, this will take some time to get you there, but after you have mastered it, it will work brilliantly. It’s working with animals, like dogs, why shouldn’t it work for us humans?
Of course it is very important, that this trigger is only used for this kind of operation. Therefore, you can not use something that will be used in other situations as well.
For sure, it sounds kind of strange in the beginning and you might wonder where I came up with this, because actually I haven’t found that technique in the world of the meditational experience, but rather in the field of Motorsport. Drivers need to get into their cars in certain races rather quickly and their performance needs to be on point. This can be seen in endurance racing, when changing weather conditions, or an accident causes a situation, where the next driver gets the information to get into the car like literally under a minute before he will be actually driving off with the car. Therefore, some of them have created a trigger, very similar to what I have talked about above, that helps them to get into zone, being right there in the present moment.
As we can see, it is always a good thing to be open minded and have a look into other fields as well. It doesn’t really matters what you are doing, the problems are everywhere nearly the same.
See you next time!