Tiffany Wood Yoga

Tip of the Month: The Gift of Meditation!

Tiffany Wood sits in meditation

A common perception about meditation is that you need to be in a nice quiet space with no-one around; absolutely no distractions. You sit on a meditation cushion cross legged, eyes closed, hands on your thighs, your thumb and index finger touching with meditation music playing softly in the background. Once these requirements are met then you can start to meditate.

But what if all these parameters cannot be met? What if there are 15 people over for Christmas dinner including three screaming children, a rather inebriated, obnoxious uncle, a little yappy dog, and a forever criticizing Mother-in-Law? Then what? How do you find your center in the midst of chaos?

You start practicing meditation NOW, before the holidays. Try different practices and experience what works best for you. Practice in different environments. E.g. In your bedroom, in the kitchen, at a coffee shop, at the park, on the bus, or whatever places you visit in your daily routine.

Two types of Meditation to practice:

Mindfulness Practice

Bring awareness to your breath. Listen to your inhales and exhales. Allow it to be the only focus in that moment. Identify your in-breaths and identify your out-breaths, that’s it. Practice for a minute (if you are brand new to meditation) and then add a minute or two each day. Do what feels appropriate for you, notice how you feel and keep a meditation journal.

You can also practice mindfulness while doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, eating a meal or when going for a walk. What you are doing is the object of your mindfulness.

Equal Awareness Meditation Practice

A completely different kind of meditation is to bring equal awareness or attention, to everything around you. First listen to your breathe. You may then hear external sounds, like a siren in the distance and your cat meowing in another room, and instead of trying to shut these out, practice bringing them into your awareness and giving then all equal attention. This may sound like the opposite of many meditations, and even sound like it might be more chaotic than focusing on one thing, so give it a try, and experience how if feels for you! You might be rather surprised!

So when the yapping dog and the screaming children are making you want to rip your own ears off at a holiday get together, remember your practice, remember to breathe, listen to your breath, and then practice one of the meditations that works for you! Find your center admidst the delightful chaos!

Sources:
Mindfulness Practice, Thich Nahn Hhan.
‘Equal Awareness Meditation,’ an interpretation of a meditation at a Christopher Hareesh Wallis workshop.