Some of us have such an active mind that remaining still in meditation can seem like torture. In fact, the inability to turn off the mind and stay consistent on a regular basis are the top reasons why people quit. But meditation doesn’t always have to mean sitting alone, on the floor, in Om Pose. It’s about bringing our full attention to what our bodies are feeling and what we’re seeing, hearing, tasting, and smelling. It’s about bringing us closer to the reality of any moment—and that we can do anywhere, at any time. So, in finding methods that are interesting and engaging to us, meditation has the power to forever alter our lives in a way we could have never imagined.
Drawing, coloring, or painting
Using a creative outlet for meditation can relieve stress, encourage self-expression, and promote a sense of relaxation. Mandala coloring pages, in particular, are commonly used to find inner peace. As a simple geometric shape that has no beginning or end, mandalas have existed since the beginning of time. Various cultures believe that the mandala symbolizes harmony, unity, wholeness, and healing while Tibetan monks perceive sand mandalas as a representation of the state of enlightenment. And mandala coloring, today, lets the mind focus on shape and color as troubling thoughts fade away.
Watching a sunset or sunrise
We already recognize sunrises and sunsets as tranquil and serene, but did you know that they can stand as a meditation practice, too? And it’s not like we have to go out of our way to reap the benefits—the sun rises and sets every single day, no matter where we are! When sitting quietly and absorbing its pure essence and vibrant colors, our minds effortlessly become quiet and peaceful, and we experience first-hand its positive, healing, and restorative effects.
Planting or gardening
If you want to talk about meditation in action, gardening is the place to start. Gardening—really? Yes! While the presence of greenery is known to have calming effects, you can practice meditation by connecting to the earth and becoming aware of the plants you’re working with, including the different colors and fragrances. In fact, U.S. News Health is a supporter of moving meditation in the garden, encouraging us to “rake soil or leaves slowly, feeling your muscles flex and relax. Run a stirrup hoe under weeds, gently releasing them and, in doing so, releasing your tension.”
Walking on the beach
In many religious traditions, walking is a spiritual practice, and we now understand why. To walk mindfully at a slow to medium pace, especially on the beach (so that we’re barefoot), means that we encourage our minds to rest naturally and easily. We’re also succeeding in meditation when we coordinate breath and steps, and focus on sights, body sensations, and sounds. The sand, the waves crashing on the beach—they’re there to block out other noises and distractions and wash your worries away.
Taking a shower
Do you ever find yourself standing still under the showerhead, concentrating on the warm water hitting your skull and the rest of your body, and blocking out the noisiness of your household? Well, that’s a form of meditation. By attending to the Zen-like simplicity of feeling the temperature of the water, smelling the aromas of your shampoo or soap, and noticing the sound of the water coming to a stop, you’re bringing your complete consciousness to the present moment. And since we shower daily, it’s the perfect way to create a mindfulness ritual.
Sitting by a fire
Focusing on flames of a peaceful fire can improve our eyesight and bring our minds to awareness as distractions float away. It’s also a way to send anything that threatens our peace and balance into the flame. If you don’t have access to a fireplace, you can simply light a candle and place it on a table a few feet in front of you. Next, assume any meditative posture, keeping your gaze on the flame without getting distracted toward other thoughts. Then close your eyes and imagine it.
There’s no doubt that with some time and practice, the stillness and quietness of meditation will come naturally. And if you know of other unconventional ways to meditate—to keep it interesting—we at HealingRadius would love to read about them in the comment section below! Here’s to healthy and mindful living.