It is becoming increasingly clear to most people that meditation benefits just about every aspect of life. Headline after headline
introduces us to new studies which say that meditation benefits brain function, heart health, circulatory system, productivity, stress levels and many other things. The list is endless. However, according to surveys, most people feel like they simply do not have time for meditation.
There is a way to make time for meditation without displacing other important activities. This is true regardless of how hectic your schedule seems. Making time for meditation does not require a huge amount of self discipline. It just requires a little bit of commitment.
A good starting point is to frame the idea of meditation with the right attitude. Meditation is a time saver and productivity booster. In fact, many companies have meditation rooms and offer employees two to three hours per week to meditate or pray on company time.
Tribe Inc., a company that designs employee engagement programs for corporate clients, offers three “wellness hours” per week for each of their own employees to slip out of the office and meditate in the meditation room or play ice hockey outside. Other companies such as Toyota, Apple and Nike also encourage meditation because they say that the investment saves them money by reducing absenteeism, illness and low energy days. Employees are more absorbed in work tasks, and they sleep better than employees who don’t engage in meditation and similar activities. The time investment that goes into meditation is actually a time saver because it helps you use your time more efficiently.
You may be a mom who always needs to be vigilant with the kids. You may also have a job that does not offer wellness hours. So, how do you find time to meditate and do it well? Start by making a list.
What do you find calming, grounding and centering? Maybe there’s a childhood memory of a waterfall you visited frequently. Maybe you enjoy reading poems by Rumi or Psalms by King David. You may also have a favorite spiritual or inspirational song. Put these meditation boosting activities on your list. Now, add some physical activity like stretching and something else that generates feeling in the body and grounds you in the present moment. These are all things which may facilitate your meditation while not taking up too much time.
Everyone has down times in the day. Retrace your previous day and think about all the times you had at least 30 seconds of down time. This can be traffic lights, grocery store lines, gaps between work tasks, trips to the bathroom, etc. Use all these times to do the activities on your list. If these in between times don’t exist, create some. Make sure it measures up to at least 30 seconds out of each hour. You may sometimes notice immediate effects of these activities, but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is the accumulation of peace that occurs below the level of consciousness. This will make meditation much easier by the time you begin a formal meditation practice. You will find that there is always time for meditation. You will also find that shorter meditation sessions take less time to “warm up” for because you’re almost in that meditative state of mind already.
Now it’s time to find your meditation technique. If you’re a beginner, you can learn a simple technique on many websites, audio programs or through a personal meditation coach or weekend retreat. Many simple meditation techniques have a very similar structure. What mainly differs is the object that you are focusing on. Make sure that this object is something that invites a state of deep, loving absorption. This can be the breath, a word, a phrase, a visualized image and many other things.
Set aside a particular time each day for formal meditation at least two hours after a meal. Declare it sacred time that you use for stopping to check in with yourself and your own mind. Aim for at least ten minutes for your time duration. If you have an hour each day to devote as your time investment for meditation, that’s even better. The important thing is consistency. Keep a good solid momentum of peace every day, and you will realize that there is always time for meditation.
Tom Von Deck is a corporate meditation trainer, speaker and author of Oceanic Mind – The Deeper Meditation Training Course. Tom specializes in making meditation a much easier and more customized process for busy people and everyone else from all lifestyles and religious backgrounds. He is also the editor of The Ultimate Stress Blog. Tom’s website is www.DeeperMeditation.net.