Practicing the power of now in mindful meditation greatly benefits your mental and spiritual well-being as well as your physical health.
Meditation mindfulness is an inherent part of all meditation practices. The trick is to bring mindfulness or presence into as many moments you can during the rest of your day.
Why is this important?
When your mind is focused on the present moment it is free of stress. Dis-stress limits your ability to heal and create. It challenges and blocks your body mind resources.
When you are at ease, your energies focus on healing, problem solving and attracting your conscious desires.
Whether your goal is inner peace, holistic healing or creating a life you love, being present is the state of mind you want to experience more often than not.
Unfortunately, less experienced meditators get discouraged by a common plague of mindful meditation called 'monkey mind'. We sit with the best of intentions, chanting "Aum" and following our breath only to be distracted by constant mental chatter about the past or future. This makes it almost impossible to focus on what is present for more than a few moments and reduces the benefits of meditation.
Not to be outdone by monkey mind, I figured there had to be a way to enjoy the benefits of meditation mindfulness and practice presence without this frustration. Here's what I learned:
Walking mindful meditations are great because they give your body something to do. Practicing the presence of now in mindful meditation is easy when you have engage your body and your senses.
My most enjoyable meditation mindfulness routine came together as I was riding my bicycle.
Here is how to practice mindfulness as you walk (or do just about anything else):
This meditation is not limited to walking. Try it while you ride your bike or sit on your porch. Notice what you feel as you shower. Take a minute to notice all you see while waiting for the light to change as you sit in your car. At the next light, notice what you hear. Perhaps at another light, focus on your breath and how it feels going in and out of your body. How does it sound. Don't control it, just observe.
If you are with someone else, really look at them and listen to her. Tune in and sense her energetically. What do you notice? How has your awareness of this person shifted?
Enjoy meditation mindfulness while eating a meal. Give your focused attention to each bite. Notice the smells, tastes and texture of your food. Be attentive as you lift the food into your mouth, chew and swallow it. Do this for each mouthful, or as long as you like.
As you can see, mindful meditation is not about any particular method. At best, practicing the power of now is woven throughout your day. It doesn't really matter what you focus on or for how long. What matters is that you train your mind to attend to the present moment, which is all there really is. Being mindful and present is one key of spiritual well-being.
Healthy? Happy? Relaxed? Matt Clarkson is offering a no cost mini course teaching simple meditation exercises for busy people. Each part gives you an exercise, inspirational message or tip to help you calm the mind and reduce stress.