As part of our #MeditationHacks series, Vinny Ferraro, senior faculty of Mindful Schools, instructs a parent too busy to maintain a meditation practice, asking: Are there moments in your day when you could check in with yourself?
I feel stretched thin. I have a full-time job and young children to look after. Plus, I always try get enough sleep and exercise, stay informed, and be an active citizen. I can’t seem to find enough time to meditate.
Vinny Ferraro: How can we possibly meet all of the demands of modern life? We can’t do everything, and we can’t do much without some downtime. Otherwise, our heads can feel like they’re spinning as fast as the world around us.
So, how do we prioritize spiritual practice within our schedules? And can we find other places in our lives where we practice just being?
How many times a day can I step out of my story and into direct experience?
It may help to redefine what meditation practice looks like. I understand the practice as one of arrival, a kind of homecoming if you will. In this way, it can be a great relief from the fragmented awareness of multitasking. Ask yourself: Are there moments in my day when I could check in with myself? You might find there are opportunities throughout your day wherein you could offer your undivided attention. How many times a day can I step out of my story and into direct experience? If lunch is part of your daily schedule, could you incorporate an eating practice? Close your eyes, turn your awareness inward. Slow it all down.
This embodiment, this kind presence, offers us different gifts than a formal sitting practice does. It helps us give our lives back to ourselves.
Read more from our #MeditationHacks series…
Your Partner Disapproves?
A new meditator’s spouse disapproves of their newfound practice. Susan Piver, founder of The Open Heart Project, answers.
Other Ways to Practice?
Vipassana teacher Konda Mason answers the question: “Is it OK if I find other ways to be meditative besides sitting on a cushion following my breath?”
Not Enlightened Yet?
Author and musician Miguel Chen comforts a practitioner who doesn’t seem to be getting any closer to enlightenment.
Buddhist Traditions: Which Way to Go?
Rev. angel Kyodo williams, founder of the Center for Transformative Change, advises on what to do when confronted with too many choices.
Author and psychoanalyst, Pilar Jennings, offers advice to a practitioner who continues to feel unworthy and unloved.
Sleepy Mind, Monkey Mind?
Anita Feng, teacher for the Blue Heron Zen Community in Seattle, helps a practitioner navigate the path between drowsiness and daydreaming.
Is Meditation Painful?
Buddhist teacher Mushim Patricia Ikeda suggest alternatives when meditation becomes too painful.
Don’t Like Meditating?
Lila Kate Wheeler, author and trainer at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, answers what to do if you don’t like to meditate.
Practicing for Myself?
A Mahayana Buddhist who is encouraged to practice for the benefit of all sentient being feels like they are only practicing for their own benefit. Venerable Thubten Chodron answers.
Meditation Leading to an Unstable Mind?
Josh Bartok, a Zen teacher, suggest what to do if meditating leads to an unstable mind.
Still a Schmuck?
A reader asks Sylvia Boorstein: “What’s the point of practice if it’s not making me a better person?”
Overwhelmed by Emotions?
Author and lay Zen teacher Susan Moon is asked: “Should I stop meditating when emotions begin to overwhelm me?”
Practicing on Your Own?
An isolated practitioner asks dharma teacher Mitchell Ratner where to look for community.