Meditation Made Ridiculously Simple for Busy Professionals (Like Me)

Disclaimer: Before anything, click this box for note on meditation. Skip only if you're chasing a horse!

  • I am a busy professional searching for ways to optimize my time, effort and finances to achieve life goals. I read “optimisation’ books and resources online, snatched a few ideas, tried a method or tool onto myself and tweaked it to my context thereafter. Thus, I can only attest to the result of my own experimentation.  Meditation is one on these optimisation tools (termed mindful tools in this site) I’m currently learning.
  • I’m not a meditation expert, nor I teach meditation in any form.  I’m not prescribing a particular meditation technique for you and your lifestyle. You have to find that out for yourself. Promise, it’s a lot fun than you think.
  • You might be tempted to ask if my meditation has a religious dimension to it. No, my meditation does not have any religious dimension to it.  I,  as well as many well meaning practitioners ( Tara Brach, Sam Harris, Tim Ferris ) shy away from such undertones because no single denomination has the monopoly of meditation and its benefits.  There are more similarities than differences you can find in meditation that cuts across beliefs and religious denominations.
  • The benefits of meditation are also not confined to a single method or the level of meditative practice you’re in!   Case in point, me!  I had all those benefits even if I only allotted 20 minutes of my time each day!

I once thought meditation is for people who have hours to spare doing some weird, bone bending postures on a rubber mat.

“Man, I think I’m too stiff for weird poses anymore! Besides, I probably don’t have hours to spare a day!”

Well, I was dead wrong on a lot of things about meditation.  The truth is, I probably needed meditation the most, when I’m very busy!

Oh yeah? How come?

My last post enumerated the benefits I reaped from meditating . These benefits unlocked, despite me allotting only 10-20 minutes of my time each day to meditation! Amazing, right?!

Let’s jump to my current meditation practice. This is a guided meditation based on Headspace’s Take 20.

  1. -5 minutes to 0 minutes : This is me settling on my meditation area. I often fidget so I make sure I’m well seated upright, free from distractions. 
  2. 0- 5minutes : With eyes open and sitting comfortably on a chair, hands/arms on my lap, feet on the ground, back on the chair support, I familiarize with my environment. Then I start deep breathing.  After 5- 6 deep breathes,  I close my eyes with the last out take of a deep breath.
  3. ~5-10 minutes : I return  to my normal, regular breathing. I use the five senses to be “aware” of my surroundings- the feet on the floor, my back on the chair, those smells in the air, the sounds I hear. Then I go on identifying my present emotional state and feelings, doing a quick head to toe scan for any discomforts. The idea is to acknowledge these stimulus but not being judgmental about it. It is in this part also where I clarify my goals on why I am meditating.
  4. ~10-15 minutes: All about breathing- taking note of the intake and out take, how regular or irregular it is and where is breathing felt on my body. Then I start counting my breaths from 1- 5, then going back to 1 and start counting again. If I’m distracted, I just going back to one and start counting again. The “bringing back” exercise is very important here. Some practitioners consider meditation a success if you are able to “come back” from distractions !
  5. ~15-17 minutes : I let go any control of my thoughts. I just let my mind to do what it wants to do or what it wants to think.
  6. 17-20 minutes: I bring back my mind to my anchor points– breathing, environmental stimuli etc, making sure I am aware again of my environment. Once I do, I open my eyes, blink and remain seated while focusing on what I’d be doing next. After that, I’d do a bit of upper body stretch then get on with my daily activity.

Most meditative practice I’ve tried contained 3 basic foundational elements:

  1. The first element is on body posturing and finding an anchor to focus your attention. This rely on the body’s contact to environment and breathing.
  2. Second element is about collecting the mind, called “coming back” when one is distracted during meditation.
  3. The practice of “being here”, the practice of being mindful, recognizing and allowing  non-judgemental presence completes the third part . [/alert-note]

If  you noticed all of these foundational elements (plus some) are in my meditation practice. To recap, here’s an infographic of the steps in my meditation.

Mindful meditation basics

Mindful Meditation Basics by Mindful Living Blog

You can copy and tweak this to your liking. Better yet, try first Headspace’s Take 10 before jumping deeper into meditation. I listed tips on meditation in this post. For more tips, tools and updates on meditation, do subscribe to this blog and get it right in your email.