Meditative Moments… Do You Have Yours?

I walk along this path, hearing my own breath, listening to the sounds in nature, smelling the air with all its various scents, feeling my leg muscles carry my body up and down this path. My mind is in balance, not thinking too hard about anything and not letting it wander too far. When being fully present in the here and now, I am good.

It’s not always like this. Sometimes I am concentrating on something that is taking my mind elsewhere. Memories, anxiety, and nothing to do with the present moment fill my mind; I know then I am in need of a meditative moment or two. It doesn’t require hours. I take minutes to center myself, wherever I may be, and when walking a path I can enjoy many more meditative minutes.

My meditative moments allow me to focus on the now. Being fully present and grateful for the time I can spend. I need this time each day and love it more, when possible, outdoors walking a path.

I hope everyone can enjoy their present moment; live life in the now. Or take time to balance yourself again; in whatever way you find it is best for yourself. Namaste.

My Walking Meditation

Meditation, awake mindfulness, occurs different ways for each of us. My attentiveness to the present moment is while quietly walking through a landscape and time. It can be a wetland, a grassland, a forest; I simply want to be in the now with minutes to use my senses and be present. Nature provides me with the place to move my body, lift my mood, and connect with the land.

Often I walk on paths thousands have also walked upon, but then I look across a valley and see land I wonder if anyone, person or animal, has ever walked upon it! I have great respect for the air, water, land and cultural traditions joined with my stewardship of the place where I walk.

My stress melts away while I am attentive to moments in nature with no judgment. While the flower, bird, butterfly, squirrel and rabbit are part of the local land, they offer me connectedness to the present place and moment. These mindful pauses with nature are powerful for me. As a result, I love my walking meditations!

Four Minutes of Stillness! How to Achieve It…

I have heard it said many times, slow down. Or, rest is as important as exercise. And I have even participated in 21 day meditations where each meditative time is about 20 minutes… and they were a challenge! So why can I not turn my brain off? Why can I not be still for a few minutes? What can I do to solve this so I have the health benefits touted with meditative practice … although I actually would not mind going to a mountain top!

The years I backpacked alone in the Adirondack Mountains, or jogged/ran long miles during my 5km, 10km training days, or cross country skied on fresh snow at golf courses before others arrived, or whacked the crap out of a golf ball on Sunday mornings during my high school principalship years… those were the times my mind was still! Now, I am loving every minute of tennis, bicycling and volunteering, but I am not having moments where I can turn my brain off. And I decided that I really do need to solve this personal dilemma….so….here’s my plan……

Each morning I use my Mr Coffee maker and brew a cup of coffee. Simple. So, during the time the coffee brews I will focus on my breathing, and only my breathing until my coffee is brewed…I think the brew time is about 4 minutes…. What do I have to lose, nothing! And I always gain my cup of coffee, so it seems like it could be a win-win. Does this mean I actually have to do it for 21 consecutive days before it is considered a meditative success? or a crazy start to a habit? or simply 4 minutes of silence in the kitchen?

I hope I have success for 4 days; now that would be a start! Yet I will brew on and can always come back to the morning coffee/meditative challenge…or maybe I will take up running again?

When’s Your Golden Hour?

I am figuring this “golden hour” out for myself because my time seems to fill and often burst with to many things to do in short time. I think I should have a golden hour … what would it involve and/or look like? I wondered too if others have a “golden hour”, or does time just fill with no special acknowledgment, but instead the usual work, play, cocktail hour?

Within my American Red Cross course, I am reminded of the medically-referred golden hour: when prompt medical care must be provided someone within an hour or less of their medical emergency to hopefully prevent his/her death. And then too, within my photography work its reference to the golden hour: time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when a photographer hopes to capture a softer, redder daylight compared to time when the sun is higher in the sky.

That’s it! I need an hour or less when it is imperative to react to a behavior, or to act on a regular basis to a specific time of day. When working, I had limited time in a day so I felt there was little precious time for myself… just do and do … and occasionally catch my breath for the relaxing moment. Now with so much available time, other things fill my time: volunteering, tennis, road bicycling, tai chi, reading, etc and yet I believe I should have a golden hour each day. Does anyone agree?

My golden hour may be time to think with no interruption. A quiet, reflective time; maybe even meditative. I am not sure yet, but I plan to chisel a time per day, at a minimum, to listen to my brain. I have ideas that need sorting; thoughts that need encouraging; nonsense that needs deleting. I do not want to do these things while I fall asleep at night. I need a golden hour.

When’s your golden hour? Are you a reactor creating your time, or do you act each day at the same time with a special activity? Please feel free to comment. I am interested in your ideas.