All the times you didn’t think you were meditating… writes Danielle Colley at mybodyandsoul.com.au on August 11, 2016 – while quoting Maneesha James
You’re more mindful than you think.
The art of quieting the monkey mind can take many years to master. Many of us will never get there, and to be honest, most of us won’t even try.
You may believe you need to hide away in a cave for many moons to finally become proficient in silencing the mind chatter, a wacky pastime that most would not entertain.
In fact, for many the idea of simply sitting quietly and breathing your way to a zen-like state for 30 minutes a day seems as far-fetched as Pretty Woman.
While many forms of meditation teach that you require stillness to achieve a tranquil state, Indian spiritual guru, Osho, taught that you can still get your zen on whilst remaining active.
Co-founder and co-director of Osho Sammasati, Maneesha James, is a firm believer that any activity that is accompanied by a non-judgemental awareness is meditation.
“Meditation can be a thread through all that we do. It isn’t confined to, say, an hour’s sitting passively, eyes closed, each day – though it is good to find time for this too,” says Maneesha.
“When we are familiar with that space, the challenge is to remember it so that it is the foundation for all that we do in our waking hours – dancing, showering, cooking, playing the piano, running, relating, and working, etc.”
Meditation is not confined to emptying your mind and thinking of nothing, but can simply be about mindfulness in whatever task you are performing.
“[Meditation is] Not so much about ‘achieving’ a quiet mind as relaxing back into the remembrance of our essence as vast, still, silent. The idea that we must strive to attain anything can create stress!” says Maneesha. “And anyway, it comes from a misunderstanding. We are what we think we need to achieve; it’s the constant forgetting, the moving out of that reality by getting caught up in the mind, that’s the issue.”
With our busy lives it’s inevitable that we get somewhat caught up in our minds, but remembering that finding inner quiet is possible at all times (except maybe in a nightclub at 2am) may be the key to your zen.
Here are five ways you can get your active meditation happening.
Instead of blaring Mister Brightside through your iPod, or listening to a podcast, concentrate on your breath while you run. Find the rhythm of your breath and your pace and endeavour to stay in that moment.
Studies have shown that both running and meditation can help with mental health and depression, so combining the two may help bring you inner peace and wellbeing.
As Germaine Greer said, “A garden is the best alternative therapy.” As you work focus on sensations you can feel, then things you can smell, and things you can hear. Be truly present in the work you are doing and have the added benefit of a banging garden to be blissed out in.
Cooking is a process in which you can immerse yourself. Listen to the sounds of the kitchen and your activity, and identify each smell as it arises to your senses. Chop with purpose and calmness of mind.
The trick is not to think about the multitude of things you need to do tomorrow but focus only on what you are doing at this very moment.
In the last few years adult colouring books have exploded off bookshelves and landed in people’s surprised laps. This is not just because we all secretly wish we were still in kindergarten but because colouring in between the lines has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and help with mental health.
There are books filled with all kinds of peaceful imagery; mandalas, stunning gardens and fantastical fantasy-scapes. Buy yourself a cracking packet of colours let your creative tranquillity flow.
“Dancing meditation is one of the easiest ways to discover a calm, quiet, place inside you that is filled with joy, wisdom and love,” says Osho follower, Pragito Dove.
The Sufis have danced their way to inner peace for centuries and now you can celebrate life as they did in the comfort of your lounge.
Let go of your inhibitions, close your eyes and allow yourself to be carried on the music. Maybe move any shin height coffee tables or breakables before you get to shimmying like no one is watching.
Links within the text added by Osho News