When I first moved to the city, I constantly tried to find my ‘spot.’ Somewhere I could go to de-stress, reflect, and get away from the noise – to meditate – though I didn’t think of it like that at the time. But let’s be real, getting away from noise and from people in NYC is nearly impossible, and though I found a spot it was shared with joggers, bikers, couples romantically looking out into the East River. It didn’t feel like it was truly mine, and this stressed me out.
Fast forward to Year Three in New York. I’m in the middle of Washington Square Park with a group of friends, one who happens to be a yoga instructor, and we’re in the middle of the chaos – musicians, children running, food carts, picnics, dogs, traffic – getting our zen on. After three years, I had finally realized that meditation isn’t about finding a quiet area, it’s about finding a sense of peace within yourself despite the lack of quiet, which is exactly what Chalkboard Magazine’s article, How to Meditate Anywhere describes.
This piece goes through four unexpected places you can meditate. Four places that often seem the most stressful of all: your commute, the grocery store (ehem Trader Joes), an airplane, and a party. And it goes on to share four easy steps about how to meditate anywhere.
STEP 1: Take one big, slow, deep cleansing breathe
STEP 2: Come to a natural rhythm with your breath - bring your attention to it.
STEP 3: Reverse your breathe pattern, breathing to belly and then to chest.
STEP 4: Pay attention to where you focus drifts. Always make it come back to the breathe. It's all about taking a few moments for yourself and getting centered.
As I set on an airplane and write this, I’m reminded how important perspective is both in meditation and in life. Despite the anxious person sitting next to me or the fact that I’ve been traveling for the past 12 hours and am anxious to get up and stretch, the article was right, the whir of the engine is pretty relaxing. I think I’m going to go meditate…