Question: It's just so tough finding the time and a quiet place [to practice meditation] as a parent. Recommendations?
Answer: Great question. Although a quiet place affords us a nice opportunity to really listen fully to our internal and external environment, many of us often do not have the means to create that quiet space for us. This is where we need to dislodge the classical image of a person sitting still in meditation from our understanding of meditation and mindfulness practice, and expand into how the practice can be employed through our daily lives. I have a TON of recommendations...HOWEVER. If I were to choose, from all the wonderful techniques and tools of meditation available, it would have to be mantra meditation/mantra meditation tied with breath (which is a process that will occur over time naturally). In my early college years, mantra meditation (repeating a mantra internally in my consciousness) provided me with incredible deep healing and perception shifts into present Reality. My mantras of choice were a selection of Tibetan and Sanskrit mantras, the first one being Om Mane Padme Hum (correctly pronounced Om Mane Peme Hung). I moved on to Au Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padme Siddhi Hum (Correctly pronounced Au Ah Hung Benze Guru Peme Siddhi Hung). Repetition of a mantra as you go about your day, in the spaces between intense activity, like walking from one place to another, is a GREAT AND ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL WAY to develop deepening mindful awareness of the ever present Reality as well as to allow the mind to begin letting go of old cognitive and neurological pathways. Check out some youtube videos on Tibetan or Sanskrit mantra meditation practice. The Hare Krishnas and their devotion to developing their consciousness through the repetition of the Hare Krishna mantra are also great examples. Next, Transcendental Meditation, although COMPLETELY overpriced, is basically a mantra given by a teacher to the student to repeat. The research on TM is QUITE robust! Also, check out the amazing roots mantra meditation was able to put down in Christianity, beyond the traditionally Rosary, specifically within the Hesychasm tradition utilizing the Jesus Prayer, if you are so inclined of course. Islam is also is filled with beautiful mantra based practices. You know how a lot of people wear mala/mantra beads as sort of a fashion statement? A portion of the population wearing these great fashion accessories also use them for their intended meditative purpose!! :pMANMA