When most people hear the word “meditation,” they imagine someone with a long, flowing beard sitting in the lotus position for hours at a time. While there certainly are people like that in the world, most of us are laypeople who go to work each day and may not feel we have hours to dedicate to a meditation practice.
You may be surprised to learn that even 10 minutes of meditation is beneficial to our minds, bodies, and emotions. These quick mediations are ones you can work into your workday at regular intervals or when you feel you need a mental timeout.
Hear the Gong
One simple way to build up a consistent meditation practice is to set a timer to go off at pre-set times during the day. When you hear the gong or ding, you stop what you are doing. Close your eyes and focus on your breath for a couple of minutes. Feel yourself in your body and relax any tight places that you may be experiencing. Then, go back to work feeling refreshed and clear-headed.
There are several apps and meditation timers online that you can add to your desktop and set up to go off when you chose. These frequent, short moments of mental and physical rest do wonders for your focus and peacefulness, even when things are busy. One popular app is the free Insight Timer.
Peel an Orange
Okay, it doesn’t need to be an orange, just one of your favorite fruits. Take a five-minute break, even if you just stay at your desk, and put aside everything but your fruit snack. Deeply experience how it feels to peel back the rind. Smell the sweet, citrus scent that explodes into the air once the orange peel has been broken. No slowly bring a section up to your mouth, feeling your arm moving through space and your hand holding the textured fruit. Feel the juice squirt into your mouth as you bite down. You won’t be able to keep from smiling. This simple
experience puts the day’s events in perspective and helps bring you back to the moment, where peace lives. !
Scan your Body
Our society encourages us to live in our heads, and most of us do that all too well. We forget that we live in a body until it reminds us by feeling sick or painful. Every couple of hours, stop what you are doing and close your eyes, resting your hands on your thighs. Starting at the top of your head, scan slowly down your body noticing how each part of you feels. Are there places that are hot, cold, tight or relaxed?
There’s no need to do anything about the feelings. Just notice them. When you put your attention on them, they will naturally release tension, warm up or whatever is needed. This scan takes only a few minutes but helps you reconnect with your body, helping you gain perspective and experience life more fully.