Workplace Meditation

Meditation saves lives.

Well, perhaps not directly, but it can help make the workday feel less
hectic by calming the mind and resetting focus. One common
misconception about meditation is that it has to be done sitting cross
legged on the floor with incense burning and someone chanting ohms.
However, any moment in time can be meditative by bringing awareness to
the breath.

Try this simple practice using a pranayama breathing technique. It can
be done sitting at your desk, in transit, while taking a walk, or even
while waiting in the conference room coffee line (though be ready to
be zen-vied*).

1. Fold your forefinger and middle finger into your palm, leaving your
thumb, ring finger and pinky extended.
2. Press your thumb against one nostril, inhaling through the other
for a count of four.
3. Pause at the top of your inhale and pinch both nostrils closed
using your thumb and ring finger for another count of four.
4. Release your thumb and exhale through the alternate nostril again
for a count of four.
5. At the bottom of the exhale, count to four before starting the
inhale through the same nostril.
6. Repeat this breathing practice for five to fifteen minutes,
concentrating on the power of the breath as it fills and leaves your
body and the stillness in between.

This is a quick exercise that will help recenter you and can be done
multiple times a day. If you are like many meditators and have trouble
keeping the mind from wandering to your to-do list, use a mantra as a
focusing tool. On the inhale repeat the word “Let” each second of the
four count. On the exhale repeat the word “Go”. You are releasing any
expectation or pressure, and by doing so you will be gifting your mind
and body with a subtle dose of peace.

*Zen-vied: When others around you become jealous of your ability to be
present, content, and calm.

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