Daytime practice – Level 2

Before coming to this page, you practiced lying on the bed to fall asleep and on waking up mid sleep. You also know how to practice on waking up in the morning and still in the bed with eyes closed, to start the day with a cool mind. 

Now you will take ‘Focusing on breathing’ with you when you leave the bed and the bedroom. You can practice during the day without allotting time. When the daytime practice also becomes a habit, you will remain calm and confident throughout the day. Your concentration at work and response to unwanted thoughts and stressful behaviors of others will dramatically  improve.

These practices are not presented in any significant order. Practice each of them for a few days and see how you feel in mind and body. These are suggestions, not rules. Feel free to adapt them to your choice.

Home: Routine physical activities like brushing teeth, getting dressed, toasting the bread, walking, cooking, cleaning and gardening, doing the laundry are great opportunities, as they occur throughout the day. Use any mode of your choice – ‘counting mode’ or ‘feeling mode’ or ‘tip mode’ (1).

Between activities: When we are busy doing something, the mind is focused on the task. It wanders very little. During the transition from one activity to the next, the mind has nothing to focus on and stressful thoughts pour into the mind.  The mini or micro gaps between the activities are ideal for practicing the ‘counting mode’ or ‘feeling mode’. Make this practice a habit, even when you get a break of a few seconds. You can feel a breath in about 5 seconds and it arrests the flow of stressful/ useless thoughts and consequent stress (1).

Walking: Whenever you walk, use the ‘counting mode’. During the in-breath feel the coolness inside nose. During the out-breath, match the number being counted with a foot touching the ground (5).
Waiting: We feel restless waiting for anything, for example – waiting for breakfast, lunch or dinner to be ready, a webpage to load, standing in a line and waiting at the doctor or dentist’s office. These are great opportunities for mini meditations on breathing. Practice any mode without being conspicuous like the ‘feeling mode’ ,’counting mode’, ‘tip mode’ or ‘segment mode’, ‘staring mode’ while keeping the hands in your lap.

Traveling in Car / Bus / Train/ Airplane: Practice any combination of modes to avoid boredom and relieve fatigue and stress. If the situation permits, take a nap using the ‘segment mode’. You will arrive at the destination without fatigue and feeling well rested (1).

Driving: Every stoppage or slowing down during driving need not trigger impatience or frustration. These inevitable situations are opportunities for relaxation (4).

Workplace: When you walk in the parking lot, hallway or work area, practice walking as described at (5). When you lose concentration, your mind wanders or any part of body feels tense or you feel stressed, take a 1- 2 minute ‘breathing break’ and practice one of the modes.

Pain: If the pain is acute, practice the ‘911 mode’ eight to ten times (2). Alternate 911 with other modes, till the pain eases. For relieving chronic pains, see (3).

Playing games: Practice any of the modes when waiting for your turn, feeling frustrated or angry at losing. Avoid the negative thoughts and quickly get back your focus on the game.

Exercise: While on the treadmill, practice any mode of your choice (1). When doing weights or resistance training, breathe out using the 911 mode during the strenuous movement. When bending and twisting, exhale slowly till the lungs are emptied, matching it with the movement. Breathe in deeply, during the easier return movements.  For quick and strenuous movements, exhale quickly with a ‘haa’.

Under stress: When angry, anxious, panicky or in pain, use the ‘911 mode’ till you feel some relief. Alternate it with other modes till the crisis eases (2).

Benefits

After a few months of practicing during the day, your mind will automatically focus on breathing whenever it becomes idle or stressed. You will experience a remarkable break from stress and open  a new chapter in your life.

(1) Various modes of ‘focusing on breathing’
(2) 911 mode
(3) How to relieve chronic pain by ‘Focusing on breathing’
(4) How to drive like a Buddha?
(5) Walking

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Parent page: Relaxation to Meditation

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