One concern that many people have about meditation is the time factor. Many of my clients have said things like, “Oh, I should meditate huh? How am I supposed to find the time to do that, when I’m already so busy?!?!”
I find myself quite entertained when people say that because I’ve said it myself. Oddly enough, even if you have a busy schedule, once you commit to meditating on a daily basis, you’ll start to notice that you seem to have a bit more time. Perhaps that’s where the old Zen saying of, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour” comes from?
The Overly Busy Mind
Humans have developed a rather serious affliction over the past few thousand years. It’s an affliction that people believe is perfectly normal. Only after taking up meditation do they realize it is not normal at all. This affliction is called THINKING.
“But how,” you may ask, “is thinking an affliction? We need to think. It’s what makes us different from all the other animals on this planet.”
It is true that the human ability to think and analyse has helped us in many ways. Thomas Edison did a lot of thinking in the creation of his inventions. What he also did though, was to sit quietly in meditation, and this is where many of his inventions came from. Even Archimedes, the famous Greek scholar, is said to have come up with his displacement method of measurement while he was relaxing in the bath, supposedly running down the street, baring his bits to the world screaming the famous word “Eureka!!!”
No doubt, both Edison and Archimedes were very busy individuals, but they gave themselves the gift of quietening the mind and so achieved great things.
What is very common among great inventors, mathematicians and scientists is that many of their discoveries came about when they were not thinking. Their epiphanies came to them in moments of mental silence and relaxation. They had the ability to quiet the almost incessant mental chatter of the mind, and this allowed the ideas to flow. They had overcome the affliction of the overly busy mind.
Yesterday Is Gone
Most people’s minds are filled with thoughts of yesterdays regrets and triumphs, and contemplating the outcomes of tomorrows doings. It is good to learn from the past and it’s just as important to plan for tomorrow, but if our minds are filled with thoughts of the past and the future, the present moment is all but ignored. If you think about it, the present moment is all that truly exists. Perhaps it’s time to start giving a little more energy to now?
Meditation and The Gift of Time
Have you ever found yourself being very busy, and even the shortest task seems to take forever? You find yourself so busy thinking and stressing about what else has to be done, that you don’t give your full attention to the job at hand, and so it takes even longer. Stress, which is based on possible outcomes of the future, steals your time.
When we meditate on a daily basis, our minds start to dwell less on the past and future. We don’t forget them, but we are not mentally consumed by them. Meditation gives us a greater ability to focus, allowing us to complete tasks faster, without being hindered by thoughts of previous failures or future stresses. When you meditate regularly, you will be utterly amazed at how your “busy schedule” has much more time to be completed.
How Super Busy People Can Find Time To Meditate
A few tips for the super busy to get meditating:
1) Bath or Shower Time Meditation
No matter how busy a person is, I can almost guarantee they will bath or shower. This is a perfect time to clear your mind a bit with meditation. You can adapt the Focused Breathing meditation for this. Instead of thinking about everything under the Sun while you wash your body, let your attention rest on your breathing. Just focus on each breath going in and each breath going out. You will most probably lose your focus when you first start with this, but every time you realize that you have lost your focus, thank yourself for noticing, and bring your attention back to your breathing once again.
2) Wake Up Ten Minutes Earlier
This is something that a lot of people are quite adverse to at first. “With my busy schedule,” they say, “I need all the sleep I can get!”
It is very important to get an adequate amount of sleep, but when you meditate just as you wake up, you’ll find that you feel even more refreshed. You might not notice this at first, but if you do it for just a week, you’ll notice the benefits of doing it.
The Counting Breaths Meditation is a great one to do as you wake up, as the counting prevents you from drifting back to sleep again.
3) Steer Clear of Social Media
Social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can give the illusion of being busy and many studies show that social media addiction is a growing problem. The television program The IT Crowd gave quite an entertaining viewpoint of how social media gobbles up your time with the episode entitled “Friendface”
Many folks claim that quickly popping onto their favourite social media site, when they have a spare moment, helps them relax from their busy schedule. Well, to date there is no scientific evidence that this is true. However, there is scientific evidence that those 5 or 10 spare minutes spent in meditation can help to relax the mind and counteract the effects of stress.
So the next time you have a few spare minutes, rather than checking in on your Facebook buddies, why not try the Focused Breathing or Counting Breaths meditations?
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour” – Old Zen Saying
Namasté beautiful Be-ing