6 Tips to Improve your Meditation Practice

The fastest way to improve your meditation practice is to see everything you do during the day as an opportunity to cultivate pristine awareness. Show up for life with eyes wide open! Show up for the small stuff especially. That’s where you want to fall asleep. It’s easy for the mind to wander when you feel bored by a small task.  

Meditation in action also known as mindfulness, is an opportunity to practice continuum awareness. To stay connected to the present moment, you want to turn every activity of the day into an opportunity to deepen your practice.

Meditation is not just about sitting on a cushion with your eyes closed. It’s about being alert, awake and open to the moment you are living in. When you meditate on the task at hand, you are creating a conscious relationship with your experience as it arises.

These are the six areas we advise would be beneficial to train yourself not to let your mind wander off. 

1)    Dishes – Pay attention to how you scrub the food particles and the order of which dishes you wash first and how you stack the dishwasher. Are you slouching? Are your feet squarely grounded on the floor? Are your body and spine straight? Notice if you are resisting the task. 

2)    Taking a shower – Activate your sense of touch and feel the temperature of the water. How do you touch and wash your own body. Slow down and be present to the foam, the bubbles and how you scrub yourself. Are you rushing to get to the next moment? 

3)    Folding laundry – Practice precision awareness. Make elegant folds and breath into the experience. Learn to master space in your closets and feel how different textures require different handling. 

4)    Driving a car – Practice multi-directional awareness. Be aware of the space in front, behind, left, and right – Pay attention to your breath as you inhale and exhale. When your mind wanders, gently redirect your attention back to the breath and the road. At every stop sign and light, take a conscious breath. Are you rushing to get somewhere?

5)    Sweeping – Find your flow. Connect the body to breath. We call this the dancing meditation. You aren’t sweeping. You are dancing with life and with every swish of the broom, the past is being released. 

6)    In Conversation (advanced practice) – While talking or listening, focus on their eyes primarily but look at their lips once and awhile. Be aware of your heart when you speak and your inner ear lobe when you are listening. Pay attention to how ideas, opinions and words cause emotional reactivity and stay cool. Keep returning to insight questions: Do I have all the facts? Is this true? What is this person really wanting to share with me?

by Evangelos Diavolitsis and Nishta Matarese

Evangelos and Nishta are international Dharma, meditation and movement teachers and the founders of Four Ways to Freedom.

Beautiful – is being taken care of by the ones you love

Recently, we have had a massive earthquake in Turkey. Due to human greed and negligence, the aftermath of the natural disaster was devastation. A few days after the tragedy, I went to teach at a Mandali Experience and a very dear friend of mine went to the devastation zone to help. After we both returned, we shared experiences. 

What he told me about being a disaster victim, shook me to my core. Because he himself had been a victim of the ’99 earthquake, he was able to see in others what he himself had experienced so many years ago. This is how he described the human condition in a disaster zone:

“One night you go to bed and you have everything. Even if you are not wealthy, you still have a roof over your head, you have your family, you have your belongings and most importantly, you have your life. The next day, you have almost nothing. You are in need of even that one glass of water that someone is going to give you. You see, the ego is slow. It does not catch up with reality so fast. It is so difficult to accept that within a matter of seconds, you have gone from having everything to needing everything. And it is very challenging to come to terms with accepting help from others.”  

Meanwhile, I was teaching yoga during a Mandali Experience and before one of our practices, I asked my fellow yogis, “What is beautiful?”. I was trying to draw our awareness to a completely different perspective and for the question I could have picked any adjective or noun, any word basically but coincidentally I chose beautiful. One of the participants came up with a definition that resonated deeply with all of us: “Beautiful is being taken care of by the ones you love”. 

From what I observe, for most of us, giving comes more naturally than receiving. We define our roles as mothers, fathers, partners, siblings, daughters, sons, friends, employers, employees mostly in terms of what we give. But when it comes to receiving, we are mostly amateurs. I know I am. I am so used to being strong and capable and self-sufficient that when I am not so, I find it difficult to ask for support from my fellow humans. So as I am writing these lines, I am not preaching. I am sharing a vulnerability that I am currently and constantly working on. Listening to the heartfelt sharings of Mandali Experience participants and to the stories of earthquake victims, I know I am not alone. 

We all have a lot to learn on the beauty of being taken care of. And maybe, we can fine tune ourselves to learn to see and experience this beauty without needing dramatic life circumstances like natural disasters or illnesses.

Can we learn to ask for and receive support from others in the more ordinary moments of life when all we need is a simple hug, or someone’s undivided and non-judgemental attention for a few minutes, or just the comfort of sitting with someone without a need for words?

Can we learn to ask for and receive support from others before unmet simple needs amalgamate to bitter scorn?

What I have come to observe on the art of receiving is that where we come from is what makes all the difference. The ego is capricious and unbendable. When in need it becomes bitter and scornful. It expects but cannot communicate. When disappointed, it screams and scolds. When receiving it is uncomfortable and critical. The heart on the other hand is generous and malleable. When in need it is communicative, receptive and rewarding. There is not a human being who will not be touched and transformed by responding and giving to another human asking and receiving from the heart. It is a mutually enriching experience.

We are all living in an ego driven and ego rewarding global society. Within such a challenging social environment, the art of being human lies in mastering to keep an open heart. A heart that is not only generous in giving but also gentle yet courageous in asking and receiving. 

Five Steps to the Present Moment

You’ve probably heard that in order to arrive at a state of inner peace and deep relaxation, first, you have to connect fully to the present moment, the ‘here and now’. That’s why I like to call meditation the Practice of Presence. There are various techniques to connect to the present moment and to exercise your ‘silent muscles’. If you’ve experienced meditation with me, you will know that I don’t follow any specific concept or religion… Yet the basic steps to meditation are similar to most of the approaches I’ve explored. Let me introduce these steps to you with a little guidance. I trust this will support you in your practice!

Loving Kindness towards yourself: 

So often we are tied to complaints from our inner critic, who push us to do more, to be better or more efficient… Nothing wrong with self-development and growth, but we have to remember that in order to evolve, we need the fuel, the positive energy, which arises from self-love and appreciation. Adopt an attitude of gentle loving-kindness towards yourself. Breath it into your heart and let it be the main signpost in all stages of your meditation (actually, in your daily life too!). 

‘I am aware that every moment of my life, I am doing the very best I can. I am enough – exactly as I am.’


Acceptance in meditation means to be connected to whatsoever is going on in this moment – within as well as around you. Your thoughts, feelings, the situation, even the possible restlessness or rushing thoughts often arise at the start of your meditation practice. 

I am not implying that you should become a doormat for people, events, or circumstances in your daily life. Having healthy boundaries is essential for our life in this world.

For your meditation, however, I simply invite you to accept ‘what is’ authentic in you and to embrace it completely. The following steps will help you to expand this state. 

‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’ 

R. Niebuhr


Your mind, body, emotions, and spirit are interconnected. When you get tense or stressed, it makes it hard to think clearly and it is difficult to connect to a meditative space. When you start relaxing your body, the mind and emotions will naturally follow. You can become more grounded by focusing on the rhythm of your breathing so it becomes regular. Additionally, you can do a body scan and gently invite each part of your body to relax and soften. You may notice that as your body relaxes, your mind becomes less frantic, less harsh, softer. Thoughts may still be there but now you may notice there is a certain distance created. 

“As the body relaxes, the mind clears, the heart opens and there is a merging of body and soul, like a wave collapsing into the ocean.”


In the context of meditation practice, I perceive non-judgment as ‘letting go of any labeling or signposting’. Again, it touches all parts of our Being. ‘I should not think when I meditate’… ‘I should not feel restless.’ … or dividing emotions as ‘good or bad’… these are just some examples of judging which you may encounter within your practice. In meditation, you can let all these labels go. What matters is to observe what is going on within and around you in its full authenticity – without actively engaging, resisting, or fiddling with it. 

“With non-judgment, there is no division. When each part of you is lovingly embraced, integrity, wholeness, and transformation arise.”


This quality is sometimes referred to as the ‘observer’ or ‘watcher’. It is the part of you that is simply AWARE. Metaphorically, you can imagine this space like the center of a hurricane – the calm, still, silent part of you which is calmly observing the context of your experience, here and now – your emotions, thoughts, body sensations, or the situation around you. By resting in your observer, you are connecting to your very core – the nourishing source of your inner peace, harmony, and creativity. The unique beauty of your Essence.

‘Above the clouds of the mind, there is a clear blue sky. I will meet you there.’

Self Love, Acceptance, Relaxation, Non-Judgment, and Awareness. These are proven practical steps to help you to sink into the nourishing space within you. They are interconnected, so even if here they are described as ‘steps’, it does not necessarily mean you have to practice them in this order. One element flows into the other, like the waves of the ocean that merge into and complement one another. Their common purpose is to bring you to your ‘inner home’. A warm space filled with a deep peace and satisfaction that comes from simply being present. 

From here, you can respond to life in a relaxed, healthy, and resourceful way.

With love,


Peter Harper is an experienced spiritual guide with more than 30 years of experience in meditation guidance and self-discovery retreats. Peter is the founder of The Drunken Monk Conscious Living project connecting spirituality with daily life.