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.