I like to refer to my contemplative practices as Active Pause, as opposed to meditation. There is so much baggage, so many expectations about what meditation is or is not. I find it very liberating to think of it differently.
Putting a different name on it helps free me from the baggage and inspires me to have more of an experimental attitude. It also emphasizes that this is an embodied human activity, not a disembodied dreamlike experience.
Here, I am going to describe to you some one-minute practices. Now, when I say one minute, it could be 50 seconds or five minutes. We’re not timing it. So, it’s just something that’s going to be pretty quick.
The word “quick” feels a bit strange when applied to something contemplative. It implies fast action. So it’s quick, only seen from the outside–people would say this activity doesn’t last very long. But the inside time is stretched and expands during that one minute into something where you pay more attention to what’s happening. And it’s as if the walls of time are expanding as you touch them and play with them.
It takes just one minute to literally get in touch with your inner experience. A simple way to do it is with a little ball. It could be a tennis ball, or, even better, one of these squeezable little stress balls (easy to find on the internet, search for squeeze balls or stress balls). You can also try it without a ball. For instance, use a pair of rolled-up socks, or paper crumpled into a ball… See: Get a grip.
You touch the fingers to each other so that each finger touches the corresponding fingers on the other hand. You rest your arms on your lap with the fingers facing forward and the thumbs facing up. See: Fingers touching.
In everyday life: Putting on your contact lenses.
See: Proactive mindset.