In airports in Burma monks in orange robes sit cross-legged in the plastic chairs of waiting areas. Seeing them during a visit several years ago got me thinking of outside-the-box places to meditate in at home.
Here are 15 places I came up with where we can try for a 10-20 minute meditation:
1. An airport bench or a patch of carpet. - Some airports, like Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans, have lounge chairs. Prop yourself comfortable with a scarf or jacket and breathe.
2. Outside. - A friend built me a plywood platform that I move around the yard.
3. Standing, anywhere. - Try a deck, a patch of lawn or a different room in your home. Feel the ground beneath your feet in Tadasana, Mountain pose.
4. Highway rest areas. - Seek a flat rock or a picnic table.
5. On the bed of a pick-up truck. - Parked, please!
6. In the quiet car of a train.
7. Beside your pet’s bed while he or she is resting. - Allow the animal's breath to guide your own.
8. Beside a sleeping baby.
9. With someone who does not normally meditate. - Sit beside them on their sofa and be with them.
10. Under a desk. - No one needs to know you’re there.
11. At a shopping mall. - Tip: The quietest benches are near the stairs.
12. By the a pond, lake, ocean, bay or river, on a bench or dock. - Smell the water!
13. By a fountain in a city.
14. At a Botanical Garden.
15. At the bus stop. - Cultivate a feeling of centering amidst city schedules, bustle and noise.
The word "meditate" derives from the word "measure." Even just a few minutes of any form of meditation can be a tool for us to apply a different assessment to our lives—one based on fully inhabiting the present moment, instead of leaving from a moment or rushing toward another.
By viewing public spaces as places where we can bring moments of peacefulness, we can better integrate meditation practices into our daily lives, bringing meditation and mindfulness practice with us wherever we go.
Where are some of your favorite places to sit in silent meditation?
by Alexa Mergen -Alexa teaches yoga and poetry in private and public spaces throughout the United States, often combining the two. She's been selected as a Contributing Writer to the 2015 A Room of Her Own Foundation Waves Retreat and DIscussion Series. Find out more about Alexa here and connect with her on Facebook.
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