I’ve finally been getting into a more consistent routine of meditating each morning. One limitation that I’ve dropped is trying to meditate for 5, 10, or 15 minutes. It often doesn’t feel like there’s that much time to spare in the morning. Instead, I’m focusing on just ten deep breaths. Just ten breaths relieves the pressure of trying to squeeze this habit into an otherwise busy morning and still gives me many of the benefits of a longer meditation session.
I find that by the tenth deep belly breath, I’ve raised my awareness. It feels like I’ve entered my brain from a different angle. I’m completely focused on just my body and its movements. On breath number ten I often notice my entire upper body relax. Specifically the shoulder girdle and trapezius muscles release a significant amount of tension leaving me feeling more pliable as I enter my day. Ten breaths typically takes me three minutes.
If you want more focus, less stress, and a clear mind to start your day, try just ten breaths of meditation. Here’s the beginner’s meditation from a few weeks back.
If you can’t spare even three minutes in the morning, try meditating on your drive to work.
At first blush meditating while driving may seem like a disturbing concept to some people. Wouldn’t you hit a tree, a cow, or a pole if you meditated while driving? You might, but not if you do it right. Meditating is more a state of mind than a specific practice requiring you to close your eyes.
Some of my most relaxing moments each week are spent driving through the farms in Chester County. My half-hour drive home from Ardmore on Saturday starts at Goshen Road by and Rt 320 and continues into Newtown Square by Sugartown Rd. Seeing the same beautiful sites and hearing the same roaring sounds each week puts me into a meditative state living completely in the moment. From the quiet tranquility of Darby Creek, to the laid-back munching by many horses, to loud Bruce Springsteen covers on the radio, I’m able to gain another perspective on life.
I’m able to find that same focus and tap into that other area of my brain as I do when I meditate each morning. The length of the drive coupled with the creative music and bright visuals helps me generate surprising new thoughts. This if often when I create my best ideas. I typically need to rush to my laptop when I arrive home to jot down whatever came to mind, so I can refer back to the idea when I want to develop it further.
Now you have two more options for gaining clarity and possibly some creativity from meditation by practicing for just three minutes in the morning or on your drive to work.
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
– Bruce Lee