Not everyone has time for a formal sitting meditation practice. For some of us trying to fit practice into our lives can be a daunting process. What I often recommend to my students is to begin using daily activities as the object of our mindfulness. This is an easy way to build a mindfulness into our routine without it having to be a ‘special’ activity.
I have previously mentioned mindful eating in my posts. Let’s face it we all have to eat! If we choose one meal a day to be our mindfulness practice we will make sure that we build a practice into our lives. For instructions on mindful eating see this post.
Other activities that are appropriate for mindfulness practice would be simple activities that don’t require alot of thought and are quite routine. Some ideas…
1) Opening/Closing Doors
2) Washing dishes
4) Brushing our teeth
5) Making the bed
6) Walking to the train/bus
7) Changing diapers
8. Nursing (a great way to be present and connect with your child)
I’m sure you can come up with many many more!
When we practice these activities we are 1) paying special attention to our physical body how it moves to perform the activity and how we feel as we are doing it. We are attending with gentle presence to our sensory experience. 2) if we find we have drifted off during the activity we have chosen we gently bring our selves back. 3) We come back over and over again as we find we are distracted.
If you commit to practicing with one of these activities every time it comes up you will soon have a regular mindfulness practice grounded in your life.
The same benefits come with any of these practices that come with a sitting mindfulness meditation practice. Relaxation, increased concentration, a sense of being more connected to our lives… In some ways these practices provide a perfect way of beginning to bring mindfulness off of the cushion and directly into our lives. Even if you have a committed sitting practices integrating one of these mindfulness practices can help you begin the transition to embracing all parts of your life with presence and mindfulness.