Meditation can be found in many forms. Some of us meditate while seated, others consider breath linked with movement on the yoga mat to be their meditation practice. We have friends who find the connection and reset of meditation while they run or walk in nature, but for us, the ultimate meditation practice is travel.
While exploring somewhere new, we have the opportunity to reset and reconnect. We see the world around us from a new perspective and are able to take these fresh eyes back to our daily lives when the trip is over. We suspect that many of you feel the same way? This feeling is what keeps us on the road and in the air as we attempt to explore every corner of the world.
As avid travelers, one of our favorite mantras for life is “Life is a journey, not a destination.” While we would never question Emerson’s wisdom, we highly doubt he penned this quote in the middle of 24 hours of air travel to get to the other side of the world.
Sometimes when we travel the combination of fatigue, inevitable delays/things out of our control, and the crowded trains, planes, and automobiles cause us to lose sight of the fact that every step along the way is part of the adventure. Have you ever found yourself snapping at the flight attendant for something completely out of their control? Or stressed during a road trip with your friends and/or family members? No matter how many times we repeat our mantra, there are still times when the situation gets the better of us and we need to quickly hit the reset button.
Since we find travel itself to be the ultimate meditation, one of our favorite ways to reset while we travel is with a quick meditation.
Follow these easy steps no matter where you are to reset so that you can enjoy both the journey and the destination.
1. If it’s possible to find a quiet spot, move away from crowds or travel companions. Find a comfortable position for your body and close your eyes. If it’s not possible to get away, simply close your eyes (as long as you’re not driving) and/or put headphones in to cancel out some of what’s happening around you.
2. Take a deep breath in, followed by a deep breath out. Repeat this several times and let the breath become even deeper if you can.
3. As you breathe, first notice how the sensations in your body start to change. Relax any spots that are holding tension you don’t need.
4. Imagine yourself in a calm, peaceful spot. As you imagine this place, take it all in – sounds, sights, temperature, and smells. Let yourself be immersed in complete calm.
5. As you finish your visualization, return to your breath for another 3-5 full deep breaths. Notice what has changed for you internally in the past few minutes.
6. Blink your eyes open and remain seated for another moment or two if you can before you return to the chaos around you.
These few minutes of “travel” will allow you to remember that you are doing what you love, no matter what else is happening around you. If all else fails and you can’t step away from the chaos, remember to smile. Your smile will eventually turn to laughter, and laughter will help you and those around you remember that the journey is what it’s all about.