The Practical Applications of Meditation in Everyday Life
by: Stephen Lau
You may meditate for different reasons: relaxation of your body and mind, spiritual connection, or stress release. Meditation has many practical applications in everyday life.
To make the most out of meditation, you should use meditative thoughts to focus on your awareness – that is, mindfulness of what is happening around you, such as your breathing, bodily sensations, and meditative thoughts. Without this awareness or mindfulness, meditation does not seem to have any purpose. Meditation is all about re-focusing your mind on what is important, and discarding what is irrelevant or insignificant. In other words, meditation helps you not only to prioritize but also to change your perspectives regarding events in your life.
Now you can apply meditation to your everyday life. You can bring all the benefits of meditation to your everyday life.
Through the power of meditation, you can find the quiet or stillness between sounds and thoughts and experiences. It is this underlying quietness – so quiet that you can almost hear it – that forms a link between you and your sensations and meditative thoughts. Through this stillness, you become enlightened with respect to your adaptation to cope with the mundane world, such as dealing with attitudes and behaviors, as well as pain and stress; knowing yourself better, such as the reasons for your anger; divine illumination, such as the purpose of your existence. Meditation is essentially a mental training of awareness or mindfulness of breathing, physical sensations, and mental thoughts, and the perception of timelessness with focus on not only the present moment but also what is “real” at the present moment.
By training your awareness or mindfulness only to remain present in whatever activity you are undertaking in real life, you will find yourself right in the center of that activity you are engaging in. In this way, you will be doing your very best, because your mind is not distracted by anything else other than what you are doing at that very present moment. For example, if you are doing dishes, your mind is only on that chore, and nothing else. In addition, by focusing on doing the dishes, you will not find the chore boring and meaningless. Meditation is mind training at its best in that you will be looking at everything in perspective – even washing dishes is part of life, and hence you should derive satisfaction from doing so. Mind training in guided meditation leads to a state of stillness that can be maintained no matter what you are doing, or what is happening around you. This is the power of meditation.
To illustrate, the practical principles of meditation can be applied to the non-meditating part of your everyday living for life, such as walking. While you are walking, let go of the outside world, and focus on your breathing, such as listening to the relaxed sound of your breathing in and breathing out as you are walking. In addition to making your walk slow and purposeful, observe each step that you are making: notice the physical sensation of your feet, as well as the way your arms are swinging back and forth and brushing against your body. If unwanted thoughts come up in your mind, re-focus your awareness or mindfulness on your breathing and physical sensations. Keep on walking with your meditative thoughts.
Meditation is an excellent mind training to focus on what you are doing. Surely, you can apply meditation to your everyday life by turning any everyday activity, irrespective of its insignificance, into meditative nature to enhance your mindfulness and clarity of mind. Guided meditation can enhance your mind power to transform your life: your senses come to life; you see how things change from moment to moment, so you have a better understanding of what is important and what is “real” in your life; most importantly, you find it easier to let go of things you found difficult to let go in the past.
Copyright (c) 2010 Stephen Lau