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Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Meditation: Meditation Can Make You Rich!

Did that get your attention? It’s true. Meditation can make you rich with all of the things money can’t buy. Decades of research shows that meditation can help you be happier, have more energy and motivation, improve your physical and emotional health, improve your relationships, and help you be more productive. Sound fantastic? Well, really it is.

Although “meditation” often conjures up the image of someone sitting in lotus position on a cushion, meditation is really much more than that. The requirement for meditation is that you be present with what’s happening in each moment with an attitude of nonjudgment and kindness. You can meditate while you’re sitting, but you can also meditate standing, walking, and lying down. Meditation can be practiced while you are sitting in a chair, under a tree, or on the front porch.

Since meditation is about being fully engaged with what’s happening while it’s happening, then you could make anything you do into a meditation. If you’re present and engaged with cooking a meal for your family, that would be a cooking meditation. Or you could wash the dishes after the meal and do a washing dishes meditation.
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People often ask me if they can meditate when they’re running. Any physical activity you do can be a meditation—running, biking, hiking, walking, yoga, lifting weights, swimming, canoeing, etc. I’ve even heard reports of how much better sex is when you treat it as a meditation. Yes, sex can be a meditation too.

The key to making anything a meditation is to be aware of all of your senses while you’re doing an activity. Be aware of sounds, smells, touches, tastes, and sights. Since I know that being fully present is a bit of a challenge, the key to meditation is to notice when your mind wanders off to something else (like your to-do list, the argument you had with a friend, or the things you’re worried about). As soon as you notice the mind has wandered to thinking, bring it back. Start over with noticing fully the world of sensations that are available to you NOW.

I just did a fabulous eating meditation at a fancy restaurant last night. The explosions of flavor were fantastic, even to the last bite. The great thing about eating meditation is you feel so satisfied afterward and you override the tendency to overeat because you’re aware of when you’re full.

I hope I’ve got your creativity working on how to make your whole life a meditation practice. The only requirement is to know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, with openness to your experience. Relax and Enjoy!

Lynn Rossy

Lynn Rossy, Ph.D., has been teaching and researching mindfulness-based interventions targeting stress, pain, cancer, depression, and eating since 1999. She has trained extensively at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society in Worcester, MA. She received her doctorate and was trained as a health psychologist at the University of Missouri. She founded the Mindfulness Practice Center on the University of Missouri campus in 2002—an innovative program that offers mindfulness classes, workshops, and presentations to students, faculty and staff.

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