In today’s world, it seems like we don’t even have a second to breathe, let alone meditate. But meditation doesn’t have to be an hour long session of silence and intermittent Oms in a quiet room. You can take it with you wherever you go. Similar to metta meditation, active meditation is just another iteration of the practice designed to increase your set of mindful tools. Active meditation allows you to form a deeper connection with your movements and celebrate them along without your life coming to a screeching halt. A short meditative practice, even on-the-go, can make a world of difference when you’re trying to reduce your stress-level, live in the present, and increase your capacity for self-love.
Active meditation is one of the simplest ways to fit mindfulness into a busy life. Here’s a traveling meditation from Nicole, who loves to practice it on her subway commute. It’s a reliable, everyday ritual.
Nicole’s traveling meditation:
Keep eyes open while standing. Acknowledge the immediate physical elements in your environment: the posters on the wall of the train, a sleeping passenger in front of you, the momentum of the train moving. Now, shift your focus to breathing in and out, and silently repeat this mantra, “I accept the gifts and challenges of the day.”
As thoughts come into your head like, “I wonder if a colleague sent that email last night.” or “I hope my son doesn’t catch a cold at school…” just let them go and redirect your focus back to the mantra. The mind is dynamic and will be busy, but gently shift your attention back to your breath. The mantra will strengthen your ability to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and by the time you arrive at your destination, your breathing will be more even, your head will be clear, and you will feel confident to move forward through the day with an open heart.
Next time you’re on the move, make it count with mindful movements. Try walking a little farther, get out one subway stop early even. Incorporating more steps along your journey to your destination is a great way to practice active mindfulness and give yourself a deeper connection to your motions. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out this guide on walking meditations to help you with develop this connection. It’s an amazing way to strengthen your body and mind.