Perhaps it is too much excitement, all the transatlantic travel, or a hormonal imbalance, but on some days, meditation feels to me like a royal waste of precious life units. What’s the point of sitting there, thinking thinking thinking?
Since I’m rarely able to transcend the human condition and dissolve into bliss (with no side effects), on those other days I resort to micro-practices. Can you guess what they are? Well, exactly what the name says: very very short periods of paying attention. Really short, like three, five, ten, or fifteen seconds at a time, but they are done early, and often.
Me, I like to pay attention to sensations: they are the secret language of Life. Even when my mind feels like a washing machine in a power cycle (you know, extra agitation), I can manage ten seconds of uninterrupted presence. To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, I am micro-practice, and so can you.
Wanna try? Take the next ten seconds to sense your hands. Are you holding a latte, a slice of pizza, a gadget? Close your eyes–unless you’re driving–feel the texture of that thing you’re touching, let it touch you, and then come back to reading. Take a sip of that latte. Really smell and taste it, feel how it wants to be drunk by you.
Whenever you walk, take a few moments to feel your feet (barefoot would be wonderful, even if it’s just a walk from your room to the kitchen). Please just don’t call it walking meditation! Don’t call it anything, simply enjoy the sensations in your legs as you move. Scott likes to invite the ground to enter his feet, feeling the alive, nourishing quality of the earth. Works for me.
Do you want to know a secret? I most like to practice in bed in the morning. I wake up way too early these days, but instead of remaining obsessed about how little sleep I got (again!), I sigh, sink into the mattress, feel my body soften and move with the breath, listen to the birds outside. Sometimes I am able to get a little more sleep that way. I call it my snoozing meditation. I’ve gotten quite adept at it.
And if you’re really into that transcendence thing, here’s another secret: micro-practices are a shortcut to bliss.
To know more, read Daniel Odier or come practice with us.