Are you keen about making progress with meditation, but do not have enough time to practice it as much as you want?
Do you wish you could join a meditation retreat at least once in your life?
Well, if you are earnest about meditation, you can make progress even in a busy life. You can work, study, enjoy a family life and lead a regular life, and yet practice meditation and make progress.
Actually, you can go to a meditation retreat every day, without leaving your home, family or work.
You can live within an inner meditation retreat. A retreat need not be in some faraway or exotic place. It can be right here, wherever you happen to be.
You can live in an inner meditation retreat throughout the day, and at the same time carry on your day-to-day duties and activities.
You don’t’ believe that? Go on reading.
Well, this would not happen overnight. You will first need to make some progress and gain some experience with meditation. You will also need to improve your concentration ability.
After gaining experience and improving your meditation skills, you will be able to meditate anywhere, at any time of the day or night. You will not have to restrict meditation to certain times of the day or to certain places.
It will not require you to wear certain clothes or sit in a certain position.
After gaining some ability to impose peace on your mind, through regular, daily meditation, you will be able to live most of your time in an inner meditation retreat, without disturbing your daily life and schedule.
Meditation is an inner activity, which means that you can enjoy its benefits, even while staying where you are, in your present circumstances. You can carry on your life, tasks and work, and yet, at the same time, stay in a meditative state.
Of course, it is recommended that you continue mediating once or twice a day in a quiet place, while at the same time carrying on your meditation at other times too, when working, reading, studying, eating, walking or exercising.
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In these situations, do not carry on your usual meditation, such as focusing on a certain thought or mantra, on your breath or on a candle. That would be impossible, since the mind cannot focus on two things at the same time.
At these times, you go one step farther and just focus on the sense of awareness and peace within you, which rise when your mind is at peace.
In an actual meditation retreat, you go to certain place, where you meditate for several hours every day. In an inner meditation retreat, you can also meditate for longer periods every day.
In time, you will learn to stay in a “meditative mood” while going on with your daily life. You will continue to make progress, even if you do not have the time to sit down to mediate at certain times of the day when alone and undisturbed.
I am not saying that this kind of meditation replaces an actual meditation retreat and that it suits everyone. Some people need external guidance, they need a group, but some, study and thrive on their own.
As said earlier, In order to meditate while busy with other activities you need first to be trained in meditation. You need first to practice it daily in a quiet place and gain some proficiency.
Staying in a meditative state of mind in your daily life requires that you possess a certain degree of concentration ability, willpower, self-discipline and persistence, to be able to stop the wanderings of your mind.
How to Live Within an Inner Meditation Retreat
As I said earlier, practice every day your favorite meditation technique, at home or anywhere else, where you are alone and undisturbed.
After gaining experience, it is time to learn to meditate while away from where you usually meditate.
Going into inner retreat does not require external aids, such as music, special clothing or a special sitting position.
You will need to avoid anything that requires you to do something that might look strange or weird to other people. It is preferable that you do not draw any undue attention to yourself.
At first, try to enter you inner meditation retreat at various times during the day, when you are not busy with something that requires your immediate attention.
You may do so while sitting, standing or walking. Later, you might be able to do so even while working, reading or talking.
Guidance for Living in an Inner Meditation Retreat
- For a moment or two, relax your body and any physical attention.
- Try to ignore the thoughts that try to enter your mind. Do so calmly and as effortlessly as possible.
- Pay attention to your consciousness, to your sense of being aware and alive. If you have been meditating for some time, you know what I mean. It is the feeling-awareness of being existent and conscious, but without any thoughts in your mind.
- Fix your attention on this feeling of pure awareness that rises automatically when the mind is quiet.
- Disregard any thoughts that try to capture your attention.
- Do not follow your thoughts, but just try to be aware of what is beyond them, the consciousness-awareness referred to above.
- Focus on the inner silence, peace and happiness the rise inside you, where your innermost consciousness resides.
- Just focus on this awareness and carry it without wherever you go throughout the day.
- At first, go through the above process a few times a day, for just a few moments.
- Gradually, you might discover that these peaceful moments recur more often, and for longer times.
As you continue repeating this form of meditation, your inner peace would grow, and you would be able to carry it with you, no matter what you are doing and where you are.
This might be not easy at first. It takes time to make this a steady experience. You will need to strive to stay calm and focused, and exercise willpower, self-discipline and perseverance, so as not to allow your mind to wander away and immerse you in thoughts.
In this way, though living your everyday life, you are as if living in a meditation retreat.
True, in a meditation retreat there are fewer distractions and you also have guidance, but since not everyone can find the time to leave everything and participate in a meditation retreat, one can get almost the same benefits, though this might require more effort, persistence and discipline.
This kind of meditation is an inner activity, which you can practice at any time. You can enter this inner retreat at any time or place.
This kind of meditation, if done right, does not interfere with your other activities. Strangely, they can go side by side. This can eventually, lead to a continuous heightened sense of inner awareness and peace, like an altered state of consciousness.
In time, inner peace becomes the background of your awareness throughout your waking hours.
You will get in and out of this awareness – this inner meditation retreat, many times. You might enjoy it briefly, and then become immersed in your activities, tasks and work, and then return to it for a few brief seconds or moments.
If you are earnest and persistent enough, gradually, you will be able to stay more time within this inner meditation retreat.
One day, you will be able to stay in this peaceful inner silence most of the time, no matter what you might be doing. It will become your ordinary state of consciousness.