“Time” is irrelevant or unimportant in meditation.
And, the reason is simple… The length of time doesn’t matter because the space of stillness itself that you’re entering during meditation is timeless. Time does not exist there.
Nor does it have a location or an address. You cannot point or lead anyone there. Not even yourself. That is why you can only get there when you become still yourself. And, that’s when the stillness inside you reveals itself.
Now, let’s discuss the alternative meditation method you can use if you don’t have time, space nor privacy to sit down for a formal meditation… I call this method the “waking meditation” (there may be other names for it out there) and you can do this just about anywhere, as you go about your day.
If a scheduled, sit-down meditation done twice per day is not possible for you, the “waking meditation” is the next best thing. (In fact, I would recommend that you occasionally practice this form of meditation even if you are doing the formal sit-down daily meditation.)
The way to do this meditation technique is to simply bring awareness into whatever it is you’re doing during your waking state.
You would focus your full attention on the task at hand, no matter how simple or mundane the task happened to be….and you would be fully present while doing it.
You can only be fully present if you’re not thinking about what you’re doing. You’re not wondering about why you’re doing it, you’re not analyzing the process by which it is being done, you’re not judging the process nor anything or anyone that did this process before you… none of that.
Because, if you’re thinking about what you’re doing, or how you’re doing, than you’re not really giving the task at hand your full attention.
Also, you wouldn’t be thinking about other non-related things either…whether it’s about what else you have to do, what you’ve already done, what the weather would be like, what you’re going to eat after doing this, or what your pet must be doing right now, etc. etc. None of that either.
And again, understand that it’s not about forcing yourself to not think about other stuff. That would be fighting with or resisting the mind. And, you already know that doing so doesn’t work.
So, you simply focus your attention on whatever is in front of you right now. That’s all. And, you don’t even judge, analyze or label that in any way either.
And, by the process of being fully present in what you were doing, you would start to create a spaciousness around you that would be very similar to the stillness that the sit-down meditation would bring you to.
You could do this in the office, while out grocery shopping or even before you leave your home. At home, you could do this while you brush your teeth, floss, shave, or shower. And, you would simply bring your full attention to whatever it is you were doing…whether it was moving the brush against your teeth, focusing on how the razor felt against your skin while you carefully moved it, lathering your hair or body, or feeling the water falling against your skin and body.
You could even do it when you were having breakfast, lunch, a snack, or dinner… by simply enjoying the food completely, and even fully focusing on the process of eating.
(People who start eating in this conscious way find incredibly more enjoyment from eating, they feel satiated sooner, and they usually end up eating less…because they also start focusing on how their body is feeling during – and after – eating something.)
If you were at the office, shredding paper, you would allow your mind to focus fully on just the task of shredding paper instead of thinking about how the paper shredder works, or who invented the shredder. And, you wouldn’t even be thinking about who used the shredder before you and whether they were the ones who left it so messy, or whatever else that may come to your mind.
If any of those thoughts do pop up in your head, simply smile knowing that you already read about it in this report…or that you already knew you’d encounter some of those thoughts.
And then, gently come back to the act of “shredding paper”… of picking up the paper, bringing it up to the shredder, pushing it through the teeth/blades, and watching it being ripped to shreds.
If you were taking the elevator to another floor, you would push the elevator button, observe the elevator door close, and then you would enjoy the silence instead of wanting to get to your desired floor quicker. Wanting to get there quicker will not make the elevator go faster. So, instead of wanting to be at your destination already, you might as well enjoy the few moments of peace and quiet in your day, during your elevator ride.
If you were taking a break, you would simply take a break. You would not try to make phone calls, or send text messages, or any of that stuff. You would simply sit down (or stand) somewhere and just be. Be there fully. Have your full attention and focus right where you are instead of being lost in thought. Look around, enjoy your environment – or at least become aware of what’s going on around you – without needing to have opinions or thoughts about it.
If you were driving your vehicle, you would be completely focused just on the process of driving. You would become aware of the little steps you are taking in order to drive, and you would also become more aware of your surroundings. You would shut off the radio or stereo and simply focus on the process of driving, with all of your attention and awareness.
If you came to a red light, you would enjoy the few seconds of stillness, again without needing to get to where you were going any quicker.
With a little practice, you will be able to feel and sense the underlying stillness anywhere, at any time. Even if you’re in the middle of chaos. And, that’s kind of the point of this practice (to be able to be still – or “meditate” – while you’re awake and out of your quiet, private space.) And, you would do so even while you hear children yelling/crying, dogs barking, plates crashing to the floor, or sirens screeching outside… you will be able to let all of those things just be as they are, and notice (or become aware) of the stillness in which all of that stuff happens.
So, in the end, what you’re really doing is becoming aware of the stillness outside of you (in the physical world) by becoming aware of – and connecting with – that place of stillness inside of you. That’s the secret to this waking meditation.
If all of that sounds weird right now, that’s okay. Just start by practicing this waking meditation during the more quieter or calmer moments of your life, first. And gradually try to work on those other busier or noisier moments.
These little moments of being fully present in what you’re doing – or just being still and aware, wherever you are – may not seem very significant to you right now, but believe me, they are very powerful and very transformative.
And, the more you start to bring tiny bits of awareness and presence into your life, as often as you can during any given day, the more you will start to transform your day, your experience, as well as your entire life.
What is the true purpose of meditation?
Is it to quiet the mind? Sure, it can be.
Is it to connect with your deeper self? Most definitely. That is a wonderful goal.
Is it to enjoy all the benefits that meditation will provide you? Why not! You’ll be getting them anyway, so you might as well receive openly and happily.
Yes, all of that is great.
But, the true purpose of meditation is to simply be. Without any expectations or hopes about what you’ll get or where you’ll end up.
And, it is to realize that where it eventually takes you is not important. Also, how you get to wherever you go isn’t really important either. And ultimately, how long it takes you to get there is also not that important.
It’s what you’re doing – or not doing, really – while you journey to that place, and even when you do reach that place…wherever that may be.
So, the true purpose of meditation is to simply practice it often. Practice sitting in stillness and just being.
And, heck, if any of the above reasons or benefits can help and motivate you into practicing everyday, then use them. Use whatever you need to make this a daily practice. Whether you do the formal sit-down meditation, the waking ‘present moment’ meditation, or (hopefully) both, you should make it a point to practice meditating as often as possible.
If all you do right now is to promise yourself to meditate regularly for the next 30 days, I guarantee that you will start seeing some very cool shifts and improvements in your life, as well as in your mental and physical health.
I hope you will give yourself this gift. It costs you just a few minutes per day, and it pays you in really big ways… with a better, healthier, happier, and more peaceful life.