Let’s face it, not all of us get the chance to have the “Eat, Pray Love” experience of checking into an Ashram and getting our own monk-personal trainers. Sure, we all probably could make leaps in spiritual growth if we did this, but who has the time? the money? Or the will power?
There’s an idea that floats around when most people hear the word “meditation.” An idea that this Ashram setting is needed, or adoption of Buddhist philosophy is “a must” before you can even think about sitting cross legged for 10 silent minutes. Suddenly this peaceful undertaking almost seems like a stressful endeavor…. Ironic, right?
It’s time to throw that thought out the window and adopt a modern meditation. The kind that happens during the commercial breaks of Friends, on the subway ride to work, or right after a Zumba class.
The kind that doesn’t even require you sit down, close your eyes and fix your body in weird contortions (although, all the power to you if you do go this route 😉 )
It’s the kind that simply requires you to attend to a single element at one time.
“There are thousands of different types of meditation,” says neuroscientist, Dr. Andrew Newberg. In fact, many of us unknowingly “meditate” but just didn’t know to label it as such. Whether it’s your loved one, a beautiful sunset, your breath, or a decadent dessert….focused attention on a single element can train your brain to function at it’s maximum.
With the outside world constantly nagging for our attention, we end up scattered, stressed and not even productive!
So try it: in the next 24 hours, try focusing on just 1 thing for a short period of time, whereever you are, whatever you’re doing. We recommend it’s something that makes you feel good, such as a warm cup of tea, or the way you were smiled at on the way to work.
In training the brain to focus on 1 single item, even if for just a few short minutes, we can teach it to function this way by default. Mental push-ups, if you will…to strengthen those brain-ceps. Additionally, this focused attention mediates our stress response and give us a physiologically relief, almost instantaneously.
Yes, it’s really that simple! So don’t beat yourself up, if you didn’t get a chance to sit crossed legged in the dark and sing an “om.” Simply savoring your cup of coffee this morning was enough to say you ‘meditated.’
Now–can you increase those graceful moments?