If you’re reading these words, perhaps it’s because something has kicked open the door for you, and you’re ready to embrace change. It isn’t enough to appreciate change from afar, or only in the abstract, or as something that can happen to other people but not to you. We need to create change for ourselves, in a workable way, as part of our everyday lives...Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.
— Sharon Salzberg

Many of my students express that they are simply too busy to find time to pause and do a formal meditation practice. Yet, the busier we get, the more our lives grow out of balance. These busy times call for extra creative ways to incorporate moments of stillness and repose.  Even a small pause can help us tune into the present moment in a big way. Just a few minutes of simple practices here and there can make a profound difference!

Try these three easy practices through out your day...

Take Three Deep Conscious Breaths

You can do this several times a day, any where you are.

  1. Simply pause.
  2. Feel your feet on the ground and let your mind trace the path of your the inhale and exhale, in and out of your body, for three complete breaths.
  3. Follow the path of your breath with your awareness as it comes from outside you, in through your nose, and down into your lungs.  
  4. Then trace the path of your breath back up and out into the space around you. 
  5. As your mind follows your breath feel how the movement of your breath causes your body to expand throughout all four sides of your torso.  

Do this when you're at your desk between meetings, stopped at a traffic light, when your waiting for someone to pick up your call, before you answer your own cell phone, while you are actually in a conversation with some one or when you're waiting in line to order coffee. Really, any time!

Silently Repeat A Mantra

Try repeating a simple mantra like ‘Om’ or an uplifting word such as ‘peace’ during your morning train ride. Not only will it make a crowded ride more enjoyable, but it will help you feel more open and compassionate towards your fellow commuters. It may also come in handy when dealing with the reality of a late train or an undesirable condition of your commute.

This is also a nice way to freshen up your mind at the start of the day, or clear it out at the end of the day.

Chew Slowly

  1. Before you take a bite, observe your feast (whether a single apple or a full course meal), consider its origins, notice the colors and smell the aroma.
  2. Finally take only one bite at a time let it linger in your mouth as you fully experience the taste and texture of each bite. 
  3. Enjoy two or three complete breath between each bite. 

You will take deeper pleasure in your meals through savoring each moment of your eating. You will also digest better.  What is interesting is the slower and more mindfully we eat, the less food we find we need to be satisfied.  So not only does this help create a more open mind, but it is great for your health.