Meditating While Traveling
During my travel in Panama, I made a point to maintain my yoga practice daily. Th outdoor space in the apartment building offers fantastic areas for meditation and yoga practice. I usually practice some yoga and combine with meditation after practice to integrate the results of yoga.
As a novel meditator, the occasional traffic of people passing by is a learning process as part of my meditation.
Meditating is a practice and process just like yoga practice, it can be done stand alone by itself, or meditate after the yoga practice to cool down and settle in the mind. The second option is my preferred way, but the only important thing is consistency of the meditation, so if you can practice everyday in any timing you can find, that is the only requirement.
Meditate with right way of sitting
I am a firm believer of everything starting with physicality. After all, as human beings we want to feel good. To feel good or feel better, a good physique or physical well being is the true and only foundation for overall wellbeing and mental and spiritual wellbeing.
So in the case of meditation, you meditate with good or right way of sitting is the prerequisite for a good start of meditation.
Meditate with a solid base and an upright spine
Literally I meant sitting with a solid base, I suggest sitting cross legged on your sit bones squarely on the floor Your torso should be straight up as you want your spine to be upright from the sit bones. Our energies are rooted in the foundation and flows up by the spine to the brain. So it makes sense to sit up right? Some fine points here that will make a difference in your meditation.
Meditate with conscious breathing
Meditate is literally sitting doing nothing, physically and mental in Null state. Deep breathing is always essential in yoga and meditation. With meditation we should only focus on our breathing in and out of the body, if you are sitting in a outdoor space with a breeze, good for you! That is the best for meditating setting and ideal for your feeling the best. I had the luck of sitting beside Pacific Ocean coast apartment with the strong breeze, I feel the warm air brushing and nourishing my skins, it also deeply cleanse your internal system by the inhale and exhale deeply. Add on your visualization, the negative thoughts and energies cumulated within our body are released out to the generous nature around us. The earth takes in the negatives and gives us positives back which is clean oxygen from the plants. There is lot of science supporting the meditation.
Meditate with mudra
Mudra is hand gesture. There are different hand gestures that meditation can utilize. I like the open hands with thumb and forefingers slightly touching, the other fingers are closed together and fingers straight. The hands are slightly activated but not tense and not too relaxed. With my hands in this mudra palms facing up on my knees or thighs, I crossed my legs in easy sitting pose. I feel more relaxed and alert in the mudra.
Palms facing down can have detox effects while palms facing up have receiving signal for wisdoms and inspirations. When I feel less energized at the end of the day or before bedtime, I prefer using the palms facing down and feel more relaxed. With palms facing down placed on your thighs, one can visualize that the negativities cumulated during the day are slowly flowed out of you through the palms of your hands. When I am ready to receive information or answers to my questions from the universe, I place my palms facing up to the sky signaling a receiving state.
In Hinduism, mudra has deep meanings. As a spiritual person, I believe in universe and higher powers but not necessarily Hinduism. We as humans are not always capable to doing and knowing the best in some situations. A receiving state is humble acceptable and calming for the mind. Yoga is truly for everyone, both on a physical and spiritual level.
Meditate with no intention
Keep your mind as blank or uncluttered as possible. As human beings, we are awarded with a mind that is a true privilege. That is why we are privileged. At the same time, we are also pre-occupied so many thoughts with our minds. Monkey busy minds is also curse. Here we go: everything in balance is a five thousand year wisdom from China. We do mediation to effectively balance our busy mind. Have you heard the highest state is non-doing. If you are anything like me, I have developed a busy life style in the USA like most people for survival and trying to achieving too much. After years of struggling and less evident results in my expectations, I realized too much thinking and doing is not the best approach to success. To be successful, a balance of doing and non-doing is absolutely necessary. Missing the balance, we see so much struggling on a personal level and the society as a whole. It has been manifested in physical and mental illnesses that people experience.
So how to get balanced? Meditating as much as possible. Use a mantra that appeals to you. For me as an example, you can meditate by repeating internally and silently chanting:
“I have no expectations,
I let go of my expectations.
I am not greedy.
I am humble.”
You will experience slowing down the mind and gradually within a short time of a few minutes, your mind will be calm and uncluttered with only the mantras.
Meditate with a smile
This one for meditative smile will come as you settle down your mind and with time you will smile while meditating. To facilitate the Monalisa smile, you could slight lift your chin up and close your eyes. We are normally looking down in computers or phones, we are accustomed to looking downward. It makes up unconsciously slightly depressed along with the weights of stresses we carry each days. While chin up, your spirit may just lift up a little. Remember, with every practice and consistency, you can feel the difference.
Meditate with no disturbances
Meditate without trying to interfere or intervene anything. Let it be. If on a physical level, you feel an itch or external noise, try not scratch or turn around. With practice you will be able to do just that and watch your life outside meditation will become more tranquil and peaceful.
Meditate with all the noises
We are surrounded by all kinds of sounds. I am traveling in Panama City in Panama; it is a great city nestled between Pacific and Caribbean Ocean. The Airbnb I am staying is close to the shore of Pacific Sea which is famous for the extremely loud crashing wave sounds. At night, when I am sitting at the outdoor poor area, the crashing waves are so loud that I have to consciously calm myself without being alarmed. With playground, there are the kids screaming and laughing, dogs barking, the main road traffic beeping unexpectedly. As in life, we all get across disturbances similar to these white noises. Since one cannot control what life offers, how we response is all that matters. Respond consciously not react involuntarily. Through meditation with all the big and small sounds around, I learned how to stay tranquil and not easily bothered and adjust my positions and states of meditation. The ability to accept what is is manifested in the Pacific shore meditation. I feel like a calling as I hear all the surreal crashing waves mingled with traffic beeping.