The Benefits of Informal Meditation: Quieting the Mind
by Jamie Spannhake
August 25, 2019
Meditation need not be sitting crossed-legged on a cushion. Of course, I advocate for that kind of formal meditation practice because the benefits are so enormous. But there are benefits in "informal" meditation too.
Informal meditation can be any activity that allows us to stop listening to the endless chatter in our heads. Some people call it the “monkey mind.” My “monkey” is very chatty most of the time and meditation helps “get me out of my head” and out of my own way so that I can accomplish things.
Informal meditation is any deliberate and conscious activity that helps you to disengage from the automatic relationship with your thoughts. It could be stopping at a safe pull-off to notice the beautiful sunset while driving home. It could be putting your phone aside to really listen to what your spouse is saying to you. It could be walking over to the flower bed in a shopping center to smell the flowers. In other words, getting out of your head and into the present moment around you.
The benefits of informal meditation are similar to those of a formal meditation practice. Through meditation, you can decide which of your thoughts to follow so that you can apply your mind to more constructive projects and to connecting with the people around you. Meditation, both formal and informal, creates space within us so that we can act in the world, not merely react to what the world throws at us.
What will you notice today when you engage in a bit of informal meditation?!