Two Fun Ways To Meditate In Today’s Busy World
You don’t have to live in a secluded cave and wear a loincloth to benefit from meditation. Although living in a cave sounds great after a hard day at work, check out these fun ways to meditate and reduce stress before booking a one-way flight to the Himalayas.
Write your thoughts in the clouds and watch them dissolve
When you have a particularly challenging day and your mind is racing with thoughts, walk outside and find a spot with a clear view of the sky. Find a cloud, and visualize your thoughts being written on the cloud as you think them. If there are no clouds in the sky, pretend there are.
Next, pretend you don’t know where the words came from; they just appeared on the cloud. Look at the cloud and observe it as if you’re genuinely curious about what it says. Take the perspective of, “that’s interesting, I wonder what that is?”
Detach yourself from identifying with what’s written on the cloud. Observe the cloud floating away, keeping your attention on your curiosity for the cloud. Each time a new thought pops up, write it on a cloud and float it away.
You can do this exercise inside if it’s raining. Just close your eyes and visualize a sky with clouds.
Everyone’s doing it
As of 2012, 18 million adults actively practiced meditation. By now, that number is surely larger. Don’t let your busy schedule or work routine prevent you from meditating. You can use this cloud technique at your desk by just closing your eyes.
Meditation brings peace of mind
The Art of Living describes meditation as “the delicate art of doing nothing” and “letting go of all the efforts to relax into your true nature which is love, joy and peace.” They describe the rest in meditation as “deeper than the deepest sleep that you can ever have.” This is because the mind becomes “free from agitation, calm, serene and at peace.”
Your thoughts are never just one thought; they’re a collection of thoughts that snowball into conversations. When you start identifying yourself with those conversations, it brings agitation, because that’s when self-talk tends to turn negative.
Realizing the transient nature of your thoughts detaches you from their power and immediately prevents you from getting involved in the conversation.
Visit a sensory deprivation float tank
A sensory deprivation float tank is generally the size of a small hot tub, filled with several inches of water the same temperature as your skin (98 degrees), with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved into the water. You can step into the water and walk around, but when you relax into the water, your body will naturally float.
The tanks are enclosed either with a door on the side, or a top hatch for the pod-style tanks. Once you’re in, you can close the door and turn off the light from the inside for total darkness. Floating on your back, you’ll soon lose track of where your body ends and the water begins. Your body will be supported in a way that transcends the support of even the best mattress.
Experiencing a sensory deprivation float tank is by far one of the deepest meditations you can enter. Experienced meditators will recognize the opportunity to go deep in the absence of sound, light, and bodily awareness.
Although most people share the experience of deep relaxation, float tank experiences vary greatly from person to person. Some people float only to relieve back pain, sciatica, and symptoms of fibromyalgia, and pain relief is what they experience. Some people fall asleep, and others have out-of-body experiences and mind-altering visions.
One Mind Body Green author describes their experience as mental release, “The physical sensation of floating connects us right into the mental feelings of surrender and release. It’s one of the most comforting sensations I’ve ever felt. It’s as if I am being held in my own little cushion of support, and whatever it is that bothers me can safely be let go. I feel completely held and taken care of.”
Floating is the ultimate tool for those who enjoy meditation, because the sensory deprivation allows the mind to turn deeply inward, without being distracted by external sensations.
Meditation is creating the space to let go
“Our mind is like sky and thoughts are like cloud.
Do not resist them, let them come and go.”
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art of Living
Any activity that creates the space for you to let go of thoughts can be considered meditation. As a human being, you’re going to experience a steady stream of thoughts flowing through your mind, even when you meditate. Remember, you don’t have to think about the thoughts you have; you can simply observe them and let them go like passing clouds dissolving in the sky.