Meditation on Buses
The last few weeks I have 'lived the dream' teaching in Greece as my base, then running my own retreat in Sicily and bouncing back to London for 36 hours to surprise my sister for her 40th birthday. How wonderful to do this amazing job of sunshine, healing others and have the resources to take such a luxury trip whizzing back to London!
It has also involved 20 hours each way between Greece and Sicily of travel, and over 5 hours of waiting at Preveza airport for London flights at each journey. That is a fair amount of time to sit and watch the world.
Confined time of travel as a commuter is a great opportunity to get lots of concentrated work done. I loved commuting to London from Kent for this reason, I was so productive! It is still ingrained in me to prepare a journey with a long list of work to complete in all the alone time. All that 'offline' work that you never get done because the emails ping, phone rings or texts bounce into your focus. Travel is a blessing!
As I sat on the bus from Vasiliki to Lefkada, I instantly fall asleep. Oops! There are still 6 hours of buses before I get to the airport, so all is well on productivity. The next bus I begin to stare out of the window. Greek mountains seem to have this permanent rose-hue glowing around them regardless of the time of day. I can feel why ancient Greeks were so spiritual as I watch the water, bays, mountains, rosey-haze, clouds and green fields pass on the bus. Then I notice it - I am just 'Being'. There are no thoughts, no feelings or doing happening; I am just existing. Moments drop in and out of Being and being aware of Being.
The more I go between the moments of Being and aware of Being, the more I see the beauty and feel the spiritual nature around me. I am moved at times that humans have been in this place for so many years, curious with applied intellect to discover the philosophical constructs of our existence - the purpose of life.
I arrive in Sicily feeling refreshed even with very little sleep. The state of meditation throughout my journey has kept me focused, alert and able to engage. I am aware of physical fatigue on my body and mindful of the errors I may make when driving, but the foggy head and confusion that normally accompanies such tiredness is not there.
Meditation studies have shown that it improves focus, mood, reduces stress and anxiety, may decrease the need for sleep and visuospatial processing. These were all a huge demand on my arrival in Sicily and meditation had helped me get through the the drive to the retreat.
I wrote before about anxiety during travel when I was in Costa Rica here. This month I have avoided the anxiety using the breathing techniques I wrote about before, but also meditation and the gentle use of EFT Tapping. Here is what I used:
- Find a comfortable seat. Close the eyes or soften the gaze.
- Inhale and visualise white light coming in through your heart centre.
- Exhale and visualise the white light spreading out across your chest.
- Each inhale and exhale expand the light broader and wider, until you feel like the breath and light is glowing the entire of your being and beyond.
- Keep breathing in and out of the heart centre, radiating this bright light.
- Continue for 5 minutes.
- Come back to the sensation of the shape of your body in it's seat. Feel the shape of your body. Then open your eyes.
EFT Tapping Basics
Effectively you release emotions through gentle taps by the tips of your fingers (index works well) on acupressure points whilst saying reassuring words in your mind or out aloud. It can take a couple of minutes or longer if you wish.
- Acknowledge the problem
- On a scale of 1-10 how bad is the problem?
Throughout the sequence below tap on points in your side of eyes, wrist, collar bones, third eye, breast bone (wherever feels reassuring):
3. Accept yourself in spite of the problem e.g. "Even though I am anxious about travelling, I deeply and completely accept myself"
4. Repeat rounds and change words if needed to ensure you can accept their meaning and intensity.
5. Check scale of problem. Repeat until the scale feels acceptable to you to continue.
I find that I barely even know the words I choose anymore, I just find myself tapping points when I feel anxious (especially the breast bone). It becomes an almost unconscious processing mechanism when certain situations (like travel) generate strong emotions.
Here is a proper introduction on how to do EFT Tapping Technique https://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/how-to-do-eft.html