By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
What’s so special about five-minute meditation? Something that can stand in the way of many potential meditation practitioners is the time it takes. The public envisions a meditation session taking such a large portion of time that the practice is perpetually put off, until there is enough time for it.
The truth is – that the reward cannot be realized until after the practice is finished. Regular practitioners are so familiar with the reward that their mindset has created time for meditation. To the procrastinator, there will never be the perfect moment. The irony is that when time is short, meditating can be practiced in five minutes. These mini-meditations will add up, when practiced over the course of a typical day, which means even the busiest of people can reap some of the benefits of meditating.
Breath Awareness Five-Minute Meditation
Breath awareness meditation is one of the best techniques to choose, despite its simplicity. For five minutes – just breathe, relax, and focus the mind on the act of breathing. This can be practiced sitting, standing, or walking – it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the attention is given fully to the breath. The mouth should usually be closed (unless there are sinus problems), with the tongue flat against the roof of the mouth.
If possible, all air should be inhaled and exhaled through the nose. Pay close attention to how the breath feels as it enters the lungs, expanding them gradually, but without forcing. Note how the exhalation brings complete tranquility. Feel fully, and consciously, how the chest and stomach rise and fall with each breath. Do this for five minutes, then come back to the world around you, while still keeping a little bit of your attention inside – feeling the breath. This is a profoundly calming experience.
Five-Minute Meditation and Visualization
Another five-minute meditating method is to add visualization to the conscious breathing meditation. When stressed, imagine becoming a tree rooted into the ground, but bending with the wind. When you are feeling uninspired, envision yourself becoming a bird and taking flight, soaring high above life’s drama and problems. Imagine this as clearly as possible; feel the wind beneath your wings and the sun on your back. After envisioning this complete freedom, come back to reality; but keep in mind, that if needed, that place of rest and escape is still there. For guided meditations, it is helpful to set a timer, in order to fully release yourself into the visualization, without worrying about taking more time than planned.
Five-Minute Meditation While Walking
A five-minute walk can become a rich meditation experience, if practiced in a mindful way. Practice total body awareness during the physical activity, and it instantly becomes a meditation.
Five-Minute Mindfulness Meditation
Taking a five-minute tea break may be used as a mini-meditation, and many people do this without even realizing it. Take a drink, hold it in both hands, and give the utmost attention to the contents of the cup. Note all the scents and the way the fluid looks.
Inhale deeply and savor the sensation. Then, take a sip, tasting all the flavors of the liquid, both subtle and prominent. During this time, do not label, just observe. Most of us have witnessed someone performing this accidental meditation or have done it ourselves on many different occasions.
At the heart of meditation is focused attention and awareness. Anything we turn our full attention to may be considered a method of meditating. Worry less about categorizing “things” and focus more on being mindful, whenever possible. Whether you have 5 minutes or 50 minutes for mindful meditating, it will make a great difference in everyday living.
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