Meditation Guide for Frequent Travelers

Meditating on the road can be challenging if you’re feeling tired and overloaded. However, there are some guiding principles and practical strategies to help you remain consistent with your practice while you travel.

Guiding Principles

  1. Add variety to your routine. If being in an unfamiliar place makes it harder to settle down into your habitual activities, turn the circumstances around to your advantage. This is a chance to experiment with new techniques.
  2. Be flexible. Work with whatever you have on hand. Borrow a pillow from your bed to use as a cushion if your Zafu is too fluffy to fit into your carry-on bag. If you usually burn incense, apply a scented lotion along your shoulders and neck for a light touch of fragrance.
  3. Focus on quality over quantity. If you’re suffering from a lack of sleep or your daily agenda is jam packed, go easy on yourself. Even 5 minutes of meditation can help relax and restore you. Pushing yourself too hard can backfire and leave you feeling tenser.
  4. Make obstacles part of your practice. The more you travel, the more you come to expect that things will sometimes turn out differently than planned. If you have an unexpected layover, take a few minutes to relax so you’ll feel calmer as you revise your plans.
  5. Let go of expectations. Traveling can be a valuable lesson if you use it to remind yourself that external conditions are beyond your control. Even so, you can still protect your peace of mind. Practice remaining neutral when flights get delayed or luggage gets lost.
  6. Maintain healthy habits. The mind and body are closely connected, so it’s easier to concentrate when you take care of your physical health. Stick to nutritious foods, daily exercise and adequate rest.

Practical Strategies

  1. Bring a familiar object along with you. You’ll feel more at home if you pack a small item that reminds you to practice. It’s easy to bring a small bell that you can ring to call your mind to attention.
  2. Mask background noises. Noise can be a distraction if you have a hotel room next to the elevator. Keep a pink noise recording loaded on your iPhone or MP3 player. It will sound like soft rain in the background.
  3. Wear eyeshades. Meditation is hard to spot from the outside. If you wear eyeshades, flight attendants and seatmates will assume you’re asleep and they’ll be less likely to start talking to you.
  4. Schedule a meditation session for whenever you wake up. The most disruptive thing about travel may be getting off your regular schedule, especially if you’re crossing into new time zones. By meditating whenever you wake up, you’ll stay on track.
  5. Find a local meditation center. Having some company around may motivate you to meditate. Search online for local mediation centers at your destination. They’re everywhere – from yoga studios to community centers.
  6. Meditate outdoors. Travel is much more stimulating if you get out of your hotel room. Go down to the beach or ask the staff at the front desk if there’s a park or public garden nearby.
  7. Try walking meditation. If the last thing you want to do is sit down again after a long flight, walk around while you meditate. Just focus on your breath or positive thoughts while you adopt a steady and gentle pace.

Traveling enriches your life with new experiences and opportunities. By working some meditation time into your schedule, you’ll have more energy to enjoy all the wonderful things around you wherever you go.

Find Peace in Your Spring Garden

Your spring garden can be a delightful addition to your meditation practice. It can be very simple to design a special space that will appeal to all your senses without requiring much time consuming maintenance. These are some ways to create a garden that can improve your peace of mind come rain or shine.

Designing a Spring Meditation Garden:

1. Select lush plants. An abundance of green plants helps to create a relaxing atmosphere. Any variety of mint or other herbs will add a pleasing scent. If you live in a warm climate, you can enjoy the rustle of bamboo or look for an ornamental grass that’s suited to your region.

2. Install solar birdbaths or fountains. The sound of running water can stimulate your mind while it masks background noises. With solar devices, you can enjoy the effect and be good to the environment. You’ll also delight in the song and company of the birds you attract.

3. Arrange for comfortable seating. If you prefer to sit on the ground, you may just want to keep a spot clear so you can bring a cushion or mat outdoors with you. If you use a chair, ensure it promotes good posture so you can keep your back straight and your feet on the ground.

4. Build a path. Even in a small garden, a path can enhance your sense of space and exploration. You can contemplate a trail of stones or diversify your practice with some walking meditation.

Spending Sunny Days in Your Spring Meditation Garden:

1. Clear away distractions. Put aside internal and external distractions when it’s time to meditate. Depending on where you live, it may be helpful to meditate early in the morning when there’s less traffic and other background noise.

2. Make distractions part of your practice. If external distractions persist, welcome them into your practice. Use the sounds of car horns and people talking to train your mind to stay focused on your meditation object instead of pursuing other thoughts. Note the interruption and bring your mind back to your contemplations.

3. Ward away bugs. There are many ways to steer clear of insects without killing them. For wasps, keep a look out so you can stay away from their nests. Avoid the things that attract them like perfume, bright colors, and food. For natural ant repellent, try planting some mint or cucumber.

4. Protect yourself from excessive sun exposure. You get just as much sun whether you’re exercising or sitting down. Use a sunscreen with full spectrum protection and wear a hat, especially if you meditate at midday when the sun is strongest.

Enjoying Your Spring Meditation Garden on Rainy Days:

1. Develop some sheltered seating. Spring showers are a natural part of the season. By building a gazebo, you can stay outdoors and enjoy the sound of the rain without getting wet. If you’re working with more limited space, install a large umbrella over your chair. It will help protect you from the sun as well as the rain.

2. Design a room with a view. When stormy days keep you inside, you can still keep your garden in sight. Meditate by a window where you get a good view of your yard.

Your spring garden can make your meditation practice more pleasant and productive. No matter what the weather brings, use the natural beauty of the outdoors to help calm your mind.