I’m lucky that I get to travel for my work as a meditation teacher, so I know how delays, busy airports, traveling from hotel to hotel – and just being constantly on the go – can
not only run you down physically and emotionally, but it can totally derail your meditation practice. Establishing a regular meditation practice can seem easy when you’re at home and in control of your schedule, but traveling has a way of throwing that schedule out the window.
New time zones, new clients, new places, the anxiety levels are high when we are in a new environment and in general it’s harder to relax our minds. So what better way to stay calm and steady in these turbulent times than taking your meditation practice on the road with you?
Here are five ways you can keep a consistent meditation practice going while you are traveling:
1. Find a Peaceful Place
The key to establishing any meditation practice is being comfortable. In my experience, if you’re not really comfortable you won’t continue to meditate. For me, there’s nothing more comfortable than my hotel room. I always feel like I am FAR more relaxed in my own little space. There’s something so serene because I’m not distracted by all of the many things I need to do back home – cleaning, maintenance, kids / homework and all the rest that comes with it. I know I am alone in my room and no one will come in and interrupt me. It’s just easier to settle in and commit to a meditation. Lastly, the rooms are always so comfortable, the temps are perfect and the walls are insulated
so rarely any distractions can bleed through. But that’s me – you should look around wherever you are and identify a comfortable space that resonates with you, and try it out. At times, you can even find a little peace in the seemingly ongoing construction of any busy city.
2. No Excuses, Meditate Like a Champion
You don’t need a perfect setting void of any and all distractions to meditate. In fact, the distractions are there help remind us to come back to our breath in this moment. The great thing about meditation is it doesn’t require any special equipment. I call it a “no gear sport”. You simply need to show up, sit, and practice. The simple fact is meditation can be done anywhere at any time – inside or out, stuck on a runway, sitting in traffic, or or laying by the pool. There really are no excuses. Meet delays and distractions with meditation, when things don’t quite go your way, practice some deep cleansing breaths in, and slow exhales out. This alone helps to calm your parasympathetic nervous system, cuing the body to relax.
3. Be Flexible With Your Time
You’ve got stuff to do and meditation can seem like a lot of work to schedule in, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, there are enough studies out there to support that even a 10-minute meditation can relax your body and strengthen your focus and clarity of mind, which makes it an excellent practice, especially for busy travelers. You may not be able to fit in your usual 20 minute daily practice, twice a day, but even taking five minutes to detach is better than none, right? You should decide on a realistic time you can commit to each day and stick to that time no matter what. Set a timer for 5, to 10 minutes, and practice surrendering to the moment. I think 10 minutes a day is an achievable goal for everyone and also enough to make a difference in the rest of your day. This small commitment will help you to create a routine wherever you go and help you remain focused and more relaxed.
4. Practice an Urban Walking Meditation
You can practice informally all day long, without even having to sit with your eyes closed for a minute. Mindfulness is all about maintaining moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, without judging the moment. You can do this walking around the city. Mindful movement gets us out of our heads and into our bodied, and back into the world around us. The most basic form of mindfulness movement is a walking meditation; it brings our attention into action – keeping us in the resent moment. Think the mantra: LIFT – SHIFT – PLACE Step slowly, keeping your awareness on sensations. When you get to the end of a street, pause briefly and look around. Practice seeing the world with that “beginners mind”, where everything is new. Center yourself, and be aware as you begin again.
5. Take a Meditation Class
It seems like meditation classes can be found just about anywhere, from the beach to your hotel, and a lot of yoga studios offer meditation classes (I call yoga my meditation with movement). Check ahead in the area you’ll be in for classes and go give them a try. You may discover a great new style, teacher, and community of likeminded meditating friends.
I hope this helps!
Want to meditate with The Boston Buddha?
Join Andy on Tuesday mornings, 7 AM to 7:30, Andy teaches a weekly “drop in” meditation class called Tranquil Tuesdays at Yotel Boston in the Sky Lounge. Here are the details: yotelbostonmeditation.eventbrite.com
He also teaches a weekly “drop in” meditation class over at Stil Studio in Legacy Place in Dedham, MA: http://stilstudio.com/schedule. It’s every Thursday night from 6:30 to 7:00PM. A 20 minute guided mediation class called, Being Mindful.
He also hosts a Monthly Weekend Meditation workshop series at the Weymouth Club – One Sunday a month from 11:30 to 12:30. The next one is on Sunday, September 9th, 2018.
Want to learn to teach meditation? Click here for more information on our upcoming MFE teacher trainings.
Or, meditate online with Andy online using Insight Timer. Search under “Andy Kelley” .
I hope this helps!