I’m writing some of the ways through which we can incorporate meditation in our daily lives. First thing which are necessary to incorporate meditation in our daily lives are those things that are going to be important for us to abstain from if our meditation practice has to be effective or have good results in our daily lives. Meditation is equivalent to medication. As medication is required to heal your body when it falls sick, similarly meditation heals your mind but unlike medication if meditation is continued even after the healing is done, it will enable you to lead a good quality and fulfilling life.
Now, as we know with medication there are certain things we cannot take in conjuncture with it. There are certain things if taken with medication causes the medication to be ineffective or will be counterindicitive to the results we’ll get from medication. So for certain things which we have to take during medication, there are certain things we have to take out of our diet as well. With meditation this thing is somewhat similar. Meditation is something which is to bring about a certain state of clarity or natural state of purity in the mind – to bring our minds back to this state of clarity and sobriety which is free from suffering. So then, certain action, certain things which we can do by the way of body or by the way of speech which are going to be counterindicitive, which are going to have the opposite effect, which are going to create a more clouded state of mind, bring high states of anger, high states of addiction, high states of delusion – These things we have to take out of our diet, so as to speak, if we want our meditation to be effective.
The FIRST thing we have to take out is NOT TO KILL, we have to make a promise to ourself not to kill living beings – ants, mosquitos or any sort of living being which doesn’t wish to die. Number 2, We should promise NOT TO STEAL; for our meditation to be successful we have to respect the possessions of other people and should not take things without permission. Number 3 NOT TO COMMIT ADULTARY or sexual misconduct which involves a romantic relationship which is emotionally and spiritually damaging to other people. Number 4 NOT TO TELL LIES or not to deceive other people that would take them away from their reality and Number 5 NOT TO TAKE DRUGS OR ALCOHOL or not to take anything which is going to be intoxicating for our minds, that is, things which create a state of insobriety which takes us away from our natural pure state of mind. These are certain things we should take care to abstain from if the meditation practice is to be successful.
There are certain other things which can be undertaken in moderation for meditation to be successful. These are not gruesome but when taken in conjuncture with meditation, it reduces the effect of meditation when taken out of moderation.
These are things like – OVEREATING. We have to be careful about we do not eat too much. Even food is addictive and few people are obsessed with it. Overeating creates sloth, it creates an unhealthy bodily state as well. It is something which is overall not conducive for meditation practice. We should remember that we have to eat to stay alive and not live simply to eat.
Another one is ENTERTAINMENT – watching television, watching movies, listening to music. These are not gruesome things but when taken in excess it creates a state of addiction, it creates a state of insobriety in the mind and takes the mind out of its natural clarity. Use of the internet for instance should be done in moderation.
And the third one is that as far as SLEEPING. Now sleeping can be one addiction that we often overlook, we don’t realize that we enjoy sleeping so much. When any problem arises we often find ourselves going to take a nap or trying to sleep more. Some people become insomniac because they’re so obsessed about their sleep. We’ll find this through the mediation practice that we actually need very little sleep and lack of sleep is not a problem because our mind is so calm and so pure all the time. So these are things which have to be taken in moderation.
In altogether these are things which we have to start to take out of our lives if mediation is to be a successful part of our daily lives.
Now on to the question how do we incorporate meditation directly in our daily lives. Well, this we can do in two ways.
First of all we focus on our body. Now the body in general is in 4 major postures at all times. So either we’re sitting or we’re standing or we’re walking or we’re lying down. We can use these 4 postures as sort of a very clear or a gross base as to always find something to be mindful of or to create a clear thought. So when we’re walking instead of walking and simply let our minds wander, you can keep saying to yourself – “walking, walking, walking..” or when you’re standing then you can say – “Standing, standing, standing …” or if you sit you can say – “Sitting, sitting, sitting..” or if you lie down then say – “Lying, lying, lying …”. So this is done when we’re not actually in a meditation and we can undertake this practice at all times. Similarly with the minor movements of our body we can say, for instance, if you’re bending then you can say – “Bending, bending, bending…” or if you stretch -“stretching….” , if you move the hand – “moving…”, when you brush your teeth – “brushing….”, if you’re chewing – “Chewing…”, swallowing – “Swallowing…” and so on. Any movement of the body which we make, we can be mindful of like when you’re in washroom, taking a shower, when we change cloths, wash our cloths, whatever we do during the course of the day we can be mindful of, that is, creating a clear thought based on the movement of your body. This is the first way of incorporating the practice in our daily lives.
The Second way is we can use the senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling. Now when we’re seeing we either enjoy it or we get upset by it now we’re going to use it to create a clear thought not to create a judging thought. When we see something, just to know that we’re seeing we say to ourselves – “Seeing, seeing, seeing…”. When we hear something, instead of listening to it and getting angry or enjoying we say to ourselves – “Hearing…”, when we smell we can say smelling, taste – tasting so instead of enjoying it or getting repulsed by it we simply say “Tasting, tasting, tasting..” so as to keep our minds clear. If we feel something on the body, hot or cold, hard or soft, whatever the feeing we say to ourself – “Feeling, feeling, feeling..”
These two ways are part of a general practice we can take in our daily life if we want to incorporate meditation directly in our daily lives.