“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”
~ Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in your day? I have a technique that literally extends moments, even when life is non-stop.
One of the things I love about this meditation is that it is both a an act of mindfulness and a celebration of one of life’s most accessible and simple pleasures.
To begin this meditation you require the following things:
- A beverage of your choice. It can be hot or cold. You may make it yourself or have someone make it for you.
- 5 minutes of time on your own, with no interruptions. No book, no laptop, no iphone, no company. Just you and your beverage. If you like you can even set a timer.
Location is not so important, but part of the pleasure of this meditation may be in mindfully selecting one. I’ve done this meditation in a cafe, in a workplace where every day was a misery, on my veranda at the farm, in a park, at the beach, in the middle of trying to move house – surrounded by boxes and chaos, at a train station and at home in bed.
Sit down with your beverage.
Breathe in deeply, and then exhale gently and completely. If you have been feeling very stressed allow a minute or so just to breathe, consciously relaxing your neck and shoulders, the muscles in your face and jaw, your abdomen, buttocks and thighs. Let your entire body become softer.
Take a wide view of the room or space where you are sitting. Be aware of the noises, the smells, the light. Soak it in, not focusing on any one thing, but gently taking in all of your surroundings.
Now bring your attention to your beverage. Notice the container which holds your drink. Pay attention to the shape, textures and colours.
When you are ready, pick up the beverage. Feel the weight of it in your hand. Notice the temperature, and anything else about the container.
Now bring the beverage close to your face. Breathe in. What does it smell like? Really give yourself to this experience. Savour the aroma.
Now take a sip.
Feel the liquid move across your lips and into your mouth. The warmth or chill of it. Roll the liquid around on your tongue, covering all of your tastebuds. Let the flavour fill your mouth. Notice and appreciate that flavour.
When you are ready, swallow.
Feel the liquid moving from your mouth, over your tongue, and down your throat into your stomach. Feel it warming or cooling you.
Then sit empty for a breath or two, just holding the beverage or having it in front of you.
In your own time repeat this process of mindfully engaging with and consuming your beverage. Let each mouthful be filled with awareness. Let it be a sensual experience that nourishes you on many levels.
Think only of drinking this beverage. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. Bring it back to each mouthful.
You’ll find that five minutes provides a much more expansive feeling of passed time, and your will be refreshed and relaxed by the end of your mindful meditation.