Meditation means more than sitting in a room and repeating “Om.” It’s easy to find yourself mindfully aware of the present, which is, in a sense, what meditation is. With these 9 tips you can meditate anywhere and anytime you want.

1. Meditate on your commute

Sometimes the most banal parts of your day are best for meditation. This is when your mind normally drifts into daydreams, so refocus and use your attention for good. Put yourself in perspective as one of hundreds who are on the train or the highway or the streets, as just another person living and working. Understanding your cosmic insignificance is a great way to begin or end your day.

2. Meditate while you exercise

Your body is a beautiful machine. Maintaining its function is crucial to living a long, healthy life. While doing cardiovascular exercise, think of your legs moving and your heart pumping. While lifting weights, focus on each contraction and the blood that flows into your muscles as a result. You’re alive.

3. Meditate at work

Hopefully you spend your days doing something that you love. Even if you don’t, your work can be a crucial part of a company that helps people, even in the simplest ways. This is a great segue into focusing on doing the best job you can.

4. Meditate on the sky

You don’t have to be looking at the sky to meditate on it. Too often in our age of information we find distractions. But focusing on the mental image of a blue sky with cottony puff-clouds can help clear and relax the mind. Train yourself to imagine the stress-free moments of staring at the sky from your youth. That way, when you recall blue sky, you can recall those blissful times.

5. Meditate on a fixed point

To observers it will look like you’re daydreaming, but if you focus on a point on the wall, the table or the floor, and feel mindful of your body, that counts as meditation. When you feel your mind wandering, bring it back to the object in focus. It’s just you and that thing.

6. Meditate on your mind

This is a more advanced technique. Close your eyes and think about things, but don’t get involved in the thoughts of them. Pretend your mind is a movie and you are watching it play. Whenever you do find yourself becoming involved, hit pause, remove yourself again and prepare to distance yourself again before you hit play.

7. Meditate on your breath

Sit erect and breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. Keep your eyes open or you may risk losing concentration; just soften your gaze and focus on one point. After three breaths you will be more aware of your body and your life. Start over from one. This way, ‘one’ is your mantra, and a key word to prevent your mind wandering.

8. Meditate on silence

In a quiet place it’s easy to think about your body and awareness. But even in a louder area you can find silence. Isolate each element of noise and separate it from the other noises around you. This will allow you to see the parts within the whole.

9. Meditate on time

Time is like a river, except it can’t be dammed. While meditating, think about how long this meditation will last, and consider that the interval of thirty seconds or thirty minutes you spent focused is a mere part of your life that may be repeated a hundred thousand times before you die, and will be repeated ad infinitum until the end of the universe. This period of meditation is a tiny fraction of time in your life and in the history of time. Heady, huh?

Featured photo credit: Byodo-in Temple, Center of Meditation via Bigstock Photos

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