For many of us, attempting sitting meditation is an experience which, far from leaving us peaceful and calm, creates stress and a mild sense of failure that we couldn’t “do it right.” Our minds wander. Our feet fall asleep. Our noses itch. We leave meditation feeling vaguely guilty and inadequate, wondering what’s wrong with us. But take heart—there’s more to meditation than sitting still, and you may already be practicing moving meditation without even realizing it.
Meditation is about being mindful, about being 100% present and aware within ourselves. Meditation asks us to be focused on our own internal processes—our breath, the feelings within our bodies—and detached from our minds. And you know what? We don’t have to sit still to do this. Any peaceful and repetitive chore can become a form of meditation if we are mindful—doing dishes, folding laundry, even vacuuming can be a space for meditation. In fact, for those of us with itchy noses and pins and needles in our feet, physical action may serve as an aid rather than an impediment, helping still the chatter of our minds and letting us focus on being truly present.
To use everyday chores as a means to meditate, you only need to be attentive. If you are folding laundry, feel the texture of each fabric between your fingers. Slow down, turn off the chatter in your mind, and feel. Smell the scent of the laundry detergent wafting up, the touch of the garment where it brushes against you. Hear the whisper of the fabric as it moves when you fold it. Don’t think, just feel, and be aware. When you vacuum, really feel its handle in your palm, hear the small sounds of things being sucked inside, feel the resistance as you push it across the carpet and the release as you pull it back. When you are truly present in the moment, you may find that these mundane moments offer a profound meditation experience.