Since I’ve been practicing and teaching One-Moment Meditation, I pepper my day with lots of moments of re-centering and checking in with myself, clearing my mind of whatever I’ve picked up from the previous stressful situation and bringing myself back to happy neutral.
For me, meditating quickly means checking my posture, straightening my spine, focusing on my breath, and letting everything else go. I’ve learned to do that in less and less time, so if I’m stressed or in a crisis I can use it to help me. It’s really about being able to center myself, no matter what is happening in the moment. I liken it to retuning the dial on my mental radio to a more peaceful station. The more you practice it, the more quickly you can do it.
I’ve been noticing how we pass stress on to each other. When a stressed person comes into the room and you suddenly feel stressed it’s like something’s been dumped on you. It can be tempting to turn around and dump that stress onto someone else. My new motto is: Don’t dump onto others what was just dumped onto me.
One of the unfortunate legacies from the spiritual traditions—and I say this with great respect for them and as a committed follower of one of them—is that they gave us an ideal that spiritual practice has to be done far away from the world—on a retreat, through a process of renunciation, over a lifetime. That’s a shame, because it’s created a split in our understanding of spirituality, with peacefulness always over there. “I can’t be peaceful until I finish this project,” or “… until the weekend,” or “… until the children grow up.”
Starting when I was very young, I had a sense there was something more about life than I was being told—a deeper reality or a different way of seeing. I didn’t know what it was, but I had a spiritual hunger to find out. That journey has taken me through many different twists and turns. I came to a distillation of different religious and spiritual practices, including a distillation of meditation into something that only takes a moment.
Maybe we don’t have to leave where we are to find peace. It’s ultimately about being here now. So let’s start with the truth of where we are right now.
By teaching his radical new take on meditation in eclectic venues around the world, author Martin Boroson is emerging as an inventive new voice in the next generation of meditation teachers; learn more at www.onemomentmeditation.com. This essay originally appeared on LifeByMe.com and was reprinted with permission. LifeByMe.com publishes one original essay by a thought leader each weekday.