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Erric Solomon

Really Integrating Meditation During the Day: A framework

A couple of months ago I wrote a series of blogs that explain how to begin to integrate meditative awareness, the state of non-distraction, into daily activities. Here everything is brought together so that you don’t have to go searching through many different posts.


1. Begin the day with Meditation

It is really great to start your day with meditation practice. When you start the day with meditation, even if you can only do five minutes, it can transform your day.

If you are new to meditation, you should check out our ten step guide to meditation practice called Dare to Meditate.

Once you have some familiarity with and stability in meditation practice, you should gradually begin to integrate meditative awareness into you daily activities.

For example, in this video, Sogyal Rinpoche shows how we can bring meditative awareness from the cushion to the breakfast table. Click here to see it.


2. Take Meditation Mini-Breaks Throughout the Day

So as we go about our day, if we have even a spare minute, we can simply remember to practice meditation. Just take 60 seconds, and watch the breath, or focus your gaze on a flower or tree (or even that computer screen in front of you!)that can be seen through a window and just rest.

Even a brief pause can revitalize us, reconnecting us with the state of non-distraction. This helps keep us centered and aware as we go about our usual tasks. And in so doing the meditation state becomes more and more familiar. Click here for more.


3. Switching Gears: Overcoming Anxiety and Stress

As a meditator, we should take lots of meditation mini-breaks throughout the day. But often it seems hard to switch gears between our involvement in daily activity and slowing down enough to meditate.  So here are some steps we can take that will help us create the meditation habit during the day.

4. Developing the Habit by Creating Reminders

Even though we may want to take meditation mini-breaks throughout the day, often we get so caught up in our daily routine that we simply forget. Therefore, we need a way to remind ourselves to take a meditation mini-break. Ideas for how we can do this are here and here.

5. Set an Achievable Goal

Having goals are an important part of life. We are often times obsessively motivated to meet goals, especially if the goal is one we picked. From meeting a good friend for a cup of tea at three, to planning what to get for dinner or saving for a vacation, we spend most of our life making plans and working towards enacting the plan or goal.

One of the most helpful pieces of advice I ever received was: “if you want to create the habit of remembering meditation during the day, count the number of mini-breaks you take each day.” This means that each time we take a mini-break we count it and at the end of the day we should write down the number of meditation mini-breaks we took that day.

Each day we can set a goal for the number of mini-breaks we want to take. Here is step by step advice on how to set realistic meditation mini-break goals.

6. End the Day with Meditation and Celebration

Take a few moments at the end of the day. Reflect on how, despite a lifetime spent mostly chasing distraction, we spent a bit of time meditating. Celebrate the few moments you meditated, especially if you took a mini-break or three during the day.  Then visualize yourself doing it again tomorrow… Have fun! Click here for more.