Can I meditate beyond the cushion?

I don’t like the formal way to meditate — sitting in a room on a cushion. Are there other ways I can get the benefits of meditation practice?

Lion’s Roar
5 July 2018
Illustration by Nolan Pelletier.

The main point of mindfulness meditation is to train your mind to return to the present moment—what’s going on inside and all around you—and help you become familiar with your mind. To do this, you need some kind of anchor to return to. In formal seated meditation, you generally return to your breathing and sense of being seated on the earth, so to speak. But it’s possible to use other kinds of anchors. If you’re out for a walk, you could notice each foot as it touches the ground. If you swim laps, it could be the sound of the water as your hands break the surface. You can sit outside on a rock or a bench and use your breath as an anchor. The more you return to your present experience—whatever and wherever it is—the more familiar you’ll become with what’s happening in your mind. After awhile, you may even be up for sitting in a room on a cushion.

Lion's Roar

Lion’s Roar

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