Meditation – A mini-monkey-mind vacation

Hello Meditation, my old friend

I realized this week that I had fallen (a little) back into busyness. Not the frenetic kind that has gotten me in trouble before but a pace that did not allow for as much downtime. One morning I realized that there would be no time to fit in my usual Wim Hof breathing, yoga and a shower so something had to give. I decided to forgo the first two as a shower, on this particular day, was a must! It also made me remember that resetting my day can be as easy as 5 minutes of meditation can do the trick. 

For years, I thought that meditation was sitting in a lotus position and repeating a mantra. Not my favourite way to sit as my legs are not that flexible – I’m not good at imitating a pretzel although yoga does help with the flexibility. I’ve hung in there and completed a couple of Deepak Chopra’s 21  Day Free Meditations a few years ago. And bailed on more than a few. The best advice that I remember from those was to sit comfortably with my eyes closed and follow a rhythm of deep breathing and a mantra.

How I meditate

The goal is to clear my mind of as much as possible – it’s takes a little practice as I am conditioned to be doing things. For me, the “to-do” lists would pop up or that conversation from three days ago or how was I going to fit in oil change for my car. You get the picture – busy, busy, busy. A mantra helps and that was made clear with the Deepak Chopra programs. Once you start repeating a word or a phrase, everything else falls away. I’m no expert but I could see the effects in a relatively short period of time. I’ve just replaced the practice with dog walks, yoga and deep breathing exercises. All play a role for me and I like the variety of changing things up.

I watched a Tim Ferriss on meditation as I pondered the benefits and he made an interesting observation – about how the breathing may be the real golden nugget. That makes sense to me, as I’ve observed in myself, that I breathe very superficially until I focus on it. And I always feel better after a few concentrated deep breaths – oxygen fuels the body and wakes me up.

Some of the benefits

It also offers an opportunity to tune into how your body is feeling and recognize the areas that are holding tension and stress. Once recognized, those sensations can be released. Start by relaxing your jaw, letting the shoulders drop and doing a real time scan of each body part from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. The benefits are many and lists 100 benefits across 5 categories:

  1. Brain benefits
  2. Cognitive benefits
  3. Emotional Benefits
  4. Mental Health Benefits
  5. Physical benefits

So, I tried it last week for the first time in many months. Aside from the dog thinking that I was sitting on the floor so that he could play and lick my face, it went pretty well. I set the timer for a short period and attempted to stay in the moment. I had forgotten how just 5 minutes of sitting on my meditation cushion with my eyes closed listening to spa inspired music could turn my day around. But that’s not the only place to take a mini-monkey-mind vacation. 

Different forms of meditation

The website “” offers instructions on how to meditate with chocolate. Now that is a practice that I can get behind! Reading the description reinforces the fact that meditation helps to focus on the present moment – the “now”.  You could take a class. And there are many apps out there to promote and guide you through a session. And there are many ways to meditate: guided, walking, mantras, body scan, loving kindness, reflection and numerous others. I find that I almost always fall asleep when listening to a guided meditation but I’m told that my mind and body is listening and reaping the benefits. I even consider riding my Spyder a form of meditation – everything else falls away as I focus on road, the ride and nothing else. 

For me, it’s another tool in my toolbox to keep myself joyful. One that had slipped out of my routine and I’m happy to welcome back as a quick reset. What practice could you begin this week that offers the benefits of meditation? Have a great week!

Meditate with Chocolate

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