Mini-meditation

by Dennis Bradford

in spiritual well-being

Frequently using mini-meditation is an effective way to realize Being [click here for the important Being / Becoming distinction].

Though some humans have more than others, nobody is blessed with a lot of will-power. So please don’t ever beat yourself up because you don’t have much of it.

Instead, work with reality to live better. With respect to will-power, this means making the best use of a small amount.

How?

By establishing automatic behaviors, habits, that are effective in promoting what is valuable. A good example, which I’ve discussed previously, is establishing an effective morning ritual [click here for that post].

Another is using mini-meditation. What is it? Why use it frequently?

A mini-meditation is nothing but a short meditation: it’s simply being conscious of breathing for one or two or three breaths.

Since a meditation is a waking up from the incessant stream of thought forms that plague us, a mini-meditation is like a brief glance towards formlessness that can be as bracing as a splash of cold water on your face in the morning.

Since breath is formless, paying attention to it automatically weakens identification with such forms as your thoughts, body, and emotions.

There’s nothing you have to do except pay attention. That’s all that is required to realize Being, to open to the formless, to bring Being into Becoming.

Establishing a mini-meditation practice is establishing the habit of remembering to let go of forms frequently throughout the day.

The best way to do this is to link routine behaviors with mini-meditation. Here are some examples. If these don’t resonate with you, just use other ones that are similar. Do a mini-meditation each time you:

• Brush or floss your teeth.

• Put on shoes or boots.

• Open your car door and get in.

• Pour liquid into a glass or mug or cup.

• Look at the moon for the first time in the evening.

• Shiver.

• Answer a telephone.

• Stop at a stop sign.

• Enter your workplace.

• Hug someone [click here for a post on how to hug well].

Those are sufficient to give you the idea. Even if you just added one every few weeks, in a few months you’d soon be much more present in your own life.

How could you enjoy life without being aware of it?

Here’s the important fact behind this recommendation to use mini-meditation frequently: sages are always meditating.

You may have the false belief that sages only meditate during periods of formal meditation such as when they are still and seated on meditation cushions. No, the idea behind such formal mediation is not to emulate tree stumps.

Formal stilling meditation is useful for fostering stillness of mind. A still mind is fully alert, awake, and conscious —  but empty of thoughts. It’s impossible to think while simultaneously focusing on the formless. Even in formal meditation, it’s impossible to be aware of more than one thought at a time.

To live well is to live most of the time with a still mind.

We are all creatures of habit. We tend to think the same kinds of thoughts, to eat the same kinds of foods, to talk with the same kinds of people, and so on.

So the issue is not whether or not to have habits. The only issue is whether or not to have habits that are effective in promoting what is valuable.

Linking routine daily doings with breath consciousness fosters spiritual awakening. Since a still mind is free from attending to forms, it is open to Being. Since our human purpose is to be as open to Being as possible [click here for more on purpose], the habit of frequently being aware of breathing is a valuable one.

You’ll have more periods during the day when you are untroubled by forms. The more such periods you have, the more you will enjoy life and the more you will emulate sages.

Remember: life is lived in the present moment.

It is impossible to live life in the past or in the future, because the one no longer exists and the other does not yet exist. Past and future are nothing but thoughts! They are sets of thought forms. The only reality they have depends upon our thinking now about them. [Click here for more on this].

All problems exist in the past or in the future; problems require time.

Being is timeless.

Therefore, the more you open to Being, the less troubled you will be by problems. Practicing this way is a clever way to enjoy life.

Developing the habit of mini-meditation is an effective way to open to Being and, so, live better.

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