There are numberless methods of meditation, and this can be confusing at times. I’ve chosen and presented here some forms that are easy to implement into our daily life and that naturally help us to relax. Attentive and calm breathing, listening, and walking can bring us into our body and into the here and now in a fast and natural way. This activates our PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) and allows for restful moments and inner peace.
Getting used to
In Tibetan language the word for meditation also means “getting used to.” We are using our mind in meditation in a different way than usual and so we get adjusted to a different way of being. Usually we use our mental capacities to go about and manage our daily life. If we see photos of people meditating, it might look a bit strange to see them just sitting there, maybe with closed eyes and relaxed faces. Whether in big groups or alone, on a chair or on the floor, in a bus or in nature, these are pictures we usually don’t see so much.
We are used to going actively about our days or resting passively. Meditation uses another mode of our mind. It’s a kind of active resting. We actively limit our attention within a certain focus and this allows us to relax it from its ordinary use. We are just allowing our awareness to be as it is in that moment. Nevertheless our mind will act as it normally does and that means we will notice wandering thoughts and maybe even nervous and busy activity, even though nothing might be required of us. The more we allow our mind to get adjusted to this different mode of being, the more manageable, pliable, and even calm it will slowly get. This enables us to have a mind we can use and place as we like rather than a pattern-driven, busy, and nervous mind.
Being awake and relaxed
A relaxed awakeness allows for an awake relaxedness and the other way around. We know many states of wakefulness and relaxation already: We can be awake but tense and tired; and we can be tired but too awake and nervous to sleep. Also we can feel exhausted but be too nervous to relax and recover; and we can be awake but feel too drowsy to be active. Just to mention some of them.
Meditation and the different experiments presented here allow us to get to know our own mind better. Doing the exercises with interest and curiosity, we can soon know much better what is the best way to balance our mind in a given situation. We get adjusted to using the support of these methods to better influence our state of mind and our wellbeing.
When we season our days with small, calming mini-meditations, we can use our normal life as a playground, as a testing and training field. But in general it is highly recommended to do formal exercises in safe and undisturbed situations, too. In this way we can learn the different methods in their pure form and we can see and exercise our mind in a more optimal situation without a lot of outer distractions.
With some experience we can use our daily walking times, waiting times, and even emotional challenges to investigate, play, and train. We might find many situations that allow us to enjoy walking, listening, breathing, eating, and watching, all in a conscious and focused way. This can transform ordinary activities into chances to use our inbuilt biological balancing methods and calm our nervous system on the go.