One-minute retreats can be very beneficial. The point of them is to give your brain a quick rest from all that activity.
It can even be a less-than-a minute retreat!
But how in the world can you have a retreat in less than a minute? I mean, really, what’s the point? You may ask.
There’s only one way: in your mind.
In actuality, human adults are the only beings on the planet that don’t practice minute-retreats. Everyone else around here does.
Kid’s do it all the time. Ever notice, in the classroom or over dinner, that far-away look in their eyes? As if they are somewhere else? And then the minute you remind them to eat their peas, they are back with you again?
They aren’t being disrespectful nor irresponsible. They are just giving their active (beta wave) brain a rest by thinking about something fantastical. Or not thinking of anything at all.
Animals do this a lot too. Like all day. Have you ever seen your dog stare at something that you would think would be completely not worth staring at at all? A blade of grass, a blank wall, an ant walking along the sideboard of your bedroom, a piece of dust?
They are on retreat. They are giving their brain a rest.
Every living thing needs to rest. Especially your poor brain. Think about it …that particular organ is working 24/7. Even when you are sleeping, you are processing emotions through dreaming. Even if we don’t remember the dream, we are still having it. Work, work, work. No time to rest for the weary brain.
Most of the time, we are using our brain to think about stuff that is just hooey. Worries about the future and what not. Pointless. Still we do it.
When we consciously give our brain a rest in tiny minute-spurts throughout the day, we push the internal pause button.
Yeah, it’s meditating. But it is only a minute!
It is only long enough to breathe. Or maybe just to exhale. That’s it, and then it is over.
HOW TO DO A MINUTE RETREAT
How much time it will take: 1 minute
Stop what you are doing. You can sit or stand.
Close your eyes or focus on something stationary and very uninteresting, like a pile of dirt or a blank wall.
Breathe in at least four seconds.
Breathe out at least four seconds.
Do it again, only this time, try for 6 seconds each…inhale and exhale.
As you are breathing in, imagine that the front and back of your chest (your heart area) is getting brighter and expanding and that your side body (the side of your ribs from your hips to under your armpits) is getting longer. Imagine every time you breathe out, your heart is softening.
Keep going for as long as you like. Try to go a minute. If not, that is okay. After all, you are an adult living in the fast-paced world. You might not have 1 minute to spare. 😉
ALTERNATIVE STEPS #1:
Stop what you are doing.
Close your eyes
Feel what you are feeling and observe that you are feeling it.
Do this for as long as you like
Go back to whatever you are doing after 1 minute.
Stop what you are doing.
Think of one thing to be grateful for.
Go back to what you are doing.
Caution! Doing any of the above repeatedly could lead to the desire for longer periods of meditation and sudden sensations of peace and calm for no apparent reason. If you don’t want this to happen, cease doing the 1-Minute meditation technique immediately!
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Do you have a favorite way to do a 1-Minute Meditation? Share it in the Comments section below!