I was talking with a girlfriend on the weekend.. she was commenting how lovely meditation is; but how hard it is to actually remember to do! So many people ask me how to keep their practice going, how to establish a pattern of behaviour that includes a regular daily meditation practice. I am yet to find the easy answers (after all this is a 'practice') .. but when asked I have a toolkit of three common techniques that I have used in the past:
1. Notice doorways.
By stopping and noticing each time you walk through a doorway - stop, balance yourself (internally and externally), notice your feet and how well 'planted' you are to the earth at this point in time, find your breath, follow one or two breath cycles with all the attention you can muster.
Acknowledge that you are moving from one place to another.. moving from one task to another.. one thought to another... Acknowledge to yourself "I am now walking through this doorway". Acknowledge that you intend to bring all your attention to the new situation just through this doorway. Smile. Step through. Engage in the moment.
A nice 'spot' meditation that brings present moment awareness to your conscious mind.
2. Peace Pulse.
Back in an earlier blog (April, 08) I mentioned how much I loved finding and using the Peace Pulse website. Here you sign up and each time you are on-line... each hour... you will receive a gentle gong or chime to mark the start and end of one minute. This is a reminder to stop, take a minute and be silent/meditate/give thanks etc. Another spot meditation.
Please take a moment to have a look at http://www.gaiasoft.com/peacepulse.nsf
3. Meditation bracelet or mala.
Years ago I worked with a very progressive organisation who often brought out these bright yellow elasticband bracelets : these were used for training staff to address behavioural changes. The idea was that making a change to your behaviour required consistent focus and effort - and if you snapped the bracelet (giving yourself a nice little masochistic sting!) at the moment you realised you had exhibited the 'incorrect' behaviour (or thought pattern) then you were re-learning how often (and gradually how infrequently) your were falling into old patterns of behaviour (like thinking a particular negative thoughts, or avoiding making that sales call).
Quite often there were staff moving around the office, or in a meeting, or in the lunch room, snapping their yellow bracelets. I have a couple of 'meditation' bracelets (including the traditional 'mala bead' kind) and I know when I wear them and see them on my wrist, then I am reminded of my commitment and intention to meditate. It really does work...