What is “Mini-Meditation”
Formal meditation practice with a group or solo is key to Zen practice and will not be explained here again.
The site www.oakvillezenmeditation.ca is full of information in this regard.
What is important to realize is that practice of formal meditation is not an end by itself but just a mean or a tool to control our thoughts and their source that is our mind. Our ego-centered mind is the main source of our dissatisfactions, unhappiness and suffering. The external causes of our dissatisfactions remained limited. The first step in controlling our thoughts and emotions is to be aware (mindful) of them. Only after this first step can we delete them. In other words, we cannot control something if we are not aware of it.
During the day over 45,000 thoughts are bombarding us. How many of them are you aware of? Less than 1% may be. Zen talks about sleep day walking or thinking zombies. Beside formal meditation lasting from 10 to 45 minutes you may consider during your hectic day what I call Mini-Meditation. Mini-Meditation is to the formal meditation what a snack is to a meal.
- They last no more than 2-3 min. So it will not disturb too much your activity.
- They can be done anywhere, anytime.
- They can be done 2 to 4 times / day or more.
Like its big sister Mini-Meditation requires a focus point or mind anchor. Any focus point can be used as long you focus on it and as long as you are mindful of incoming thoughts while returning to your focus point. The key as usual is to act as a mirror reflecting your target focusing point as it is and not as you want it to be that is without a discriminative, analytic and judgmental mind. So during Mini-Meditation you can:
- Focus on your body:
- On your expiration (like during formal meditation).
- On what you are doing: walking, eating, reading, etc.
- On your body using upward or downward scanning.
- Focus on your mind:
- On your current intellectual activity.
- On your incoming thoughts.
- On your emotional state.
- Focus on your time/space environment using your 5 senses.
- When you are at home, in a car, at work, outside, etc….
- When you are with people.
- Focusing on the present moment.
As you can see there are 3 main targets and each of them has 3 components. So you have 9 possible focus points. Easy to remember. Which focus point to pick? Up to you. You can pick and choose 1 of the 9 and alternate as you wish.
As you know the benefits of the practice of meditation is cumulative regardless its lengths. Obviously “Mini-Meditation” should not replace the formal ones and should be seen as an add-on.
It is also a nice and fun way:
- to break our routine of the day.
- to break our current detrimental multitasking behavior and
- to enjoy the pleasure of not being a zombie all day long.
Thank you & stay tuned.
Ven. Ji Gong Sunim. June 4th 2015