Down-to-earth meditations


Meditation doesn’t necessarily require sitting on a cushion for an extended period of time. New forms of meditating can be done while you walk, garden or even wash your dishes. And they’re just as beneficial. 

Meditation changes the brain in a positive way. It makes you more attentive, your memory improves and your emotions take you on less of a ride. Meditation is also a good remedy for stress, anxiety and somberness. Many people view meditating as a waste of time, but sometimes doing nothing is actually the most efficient thing there is. Our brain uses every break to process information. This has a wide range of benefits, including a clearer mind and creative insights. You can actually kick into a higher gear by meditating on a regular basis. There are countless studies proving this to be true.

Meditating during everyday activities can do you a lot of good. Researchers at the Florida State University, US, studied what happens to people when they wash the dishes in a meditative manner. One group of participants was given a practical description of dishwashing and the other group was taught to wash dishes meditatively. They were then presented with a pile of dirty dishes.

The group that had been given practical information was told to wash the dishes as quick as possible; the meditating group was told to focus on the sensory experience of the dishwashing: the smell of the washing-up liquid, the warmth of the water and the feel of the dishes. So all participants did the same thing but with two different mindsets. It made a very big difference: The participants in the meditation group felt relaxed and less stressed. They also felt inspired and, for them, the time flew by. Household chores like dishwashing or ironing are great things to combine with meditation.

  • The article ‘Down-to-earth meditation’ can be found in Issue 20.

Text Otje van der Lelij  Photography ©Studio Firma/Stocksy United