Designing My Own Effective One-Day Meditation Intensive

Designing My Own Effective One-Day Meditation Intensive

I have been coaching Tom in meditation for a while now. Recently he had the idea to try to increase the time he meditates each day. In order to get a feel of what it means to meditate for longer periods, he designed this one-day intensive for himself. It skillfully plots a series of meditations to keep the meditator engaged, while achieving the goal for the day.

 

What was your purpose in doing this one-day meditation intensive?

The purpose was to consolidate my meditation practice and kickstart a greater depth and regularity in my daily practice, without committing to the schedule of a traditional retreat. I wanted to create space where meditation could be the main purpose and focus of a day rather than something squeezed into one’s timetable between myriad other daily commitments.

 

Did you have a goal for the day?

I aimed to do 4 hours of meditation in the day. That compares to my usual daily target of 30 minutes.  Upon Maureen’s suggestion I also wanted to retain the unquantifiable quality of meditation; something of the specialness that gives it a place in religious practice. This I saw as a way to inspire better practice giving better tangible results.

 

Can you describe the schedule you adopted?

I started off by being pretty uninspired by the simplistic idea of a day retreat that came to mind shutting myself off from the world in a quiet place and sitting for long periods. I chose to schedule the day as a series of meditations in different places in London. Looking for places where I could sit undisturbed for up to an hour, some of the most suitable I found were London’s many churches, especially in winter when outdoor venues were ruled out.

 

Whilst travelling to the venues I would meditate on public transport (which unsurprisingly constitutes quite a large part of my regular daily meditation whilst commuting), or walking meditations, which is a technique Maureen and I had been working on. Once at the venues I planned different types of meditation, depending on the circumstances, for example a meditation using the ambient noises as the object (rather than seeing them as a distraction).

 

What worked well and what was less useful?

Meditatively using public transport, outside of rush hour, is an entirely different experience! Partly because of removing the goal-directed mindset of rushing to your destination, and partly because of the greater awareness engendered by a walking meditation, it brought a very different level of interaction with one’s environment whilst travelling.

 

I also found it very useful having an app called Insight Timerto record the time spent meditating and various other stats useful when reviewing the day’s efforts.

 

What did you learn from doing this? Did you achieve your goal?

I didn’t achieve the goal of 4 hours meditation during the day, but I did achieve my purpose of the day’s intensive meditation. I learnt however that an intensive day’s meditation is not an aim in itself but a way to build on and progress towards the benefits of a regular daily meditation habit.

 

Would you do it again?

Yes, without hesitation.

 

 

 

 

Tom Price is Head of Tea for JING Tea, a London-based premium tea company, which Maureen has been working with over several years on transforming stress at work and one-to-one meditation guidance.

 

 

Here are some guidelines for a meditation on sound, as Tom mentioned.

 

 

How to Fund an Alternative Lifestyle

How to Fund an Alternative Lifestyle

Photo by mali maeder from Pexels

I am delighted to include a guest blog from Bhavna Kapoor Vaish. Bhavna worked in finance and banking and has a strong interest in mindfulness and meditation. She was the perfect person to ask to write something on how to manage your finances when you don’t want to have a 9 to 5 job. Enjoy the post!

Ever dreamt of backpacking around the world or about living your life on a boat? If you have, you wouldn’t be alone. I can bet that one of the biggest obstacles to living the life of your dreams is money. How are you going to fund it?

Your unconventional lifestyle does not come for free. Chances are you still have to earn your living.

But will your alternate lifestyle let you do that? How can you make money sitting on your boat or exploring the remote parts of this world?

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to earn money that will align with your atypical lifestyle. But before we examine these opportunities, let us first understand what an alternate lifestyle really is.

What Is An Alternative Lifestyle

An alternative lifestyle is a way of living when you do not have a typical mainstream job. You do not earn your living from a 9-5 corporate job. Wikipedia defines alternative lifestyle as  “a lifestyle diverse in respect to mainstream ones, or generally perceived to be outside the cultural norm.”

It is a lifestyle you wish to embrace because it frees you from the status quo you find yourself in currently. You want to spend your life travelling and exploring cultures. You love an RV life or want to backpack around the world. Or you have identified your purpose in life.

Read More: Being Purposeful: Achieving The Life You Envision

Often it is a life you choose and sometimes it may be a result of circumstances. It could be a result of your health or economic conditions. You are no longer able to work at a typical job and are looking for an alternative.

Whether it a choice you make or the result of the conditions you find yourself in, this is your reality and you have to make it work.

Let us face it. Now your biggest hurdle is money. Especially if you haven’t saved money or if your savings aren’t enough to last a lifetime.

In any case, as adults, we need to be able to make money.

Do you find yourself daunted by the idea of how to finance your lifestyle?

There are tonnes of ways to make money that go beyond the mainstream. Making money through these methods can help reduce your stress, prevent you from digging into your saving or retirement fund and help you feel satisfied.

Unconventional Ways to Make Money To Support Your Alternative Lifestyle

Here are some ways you can make money working from home or a remote jungle:

Transcription:

There are many freelancing sites online that offer to pay you money to transcribe an audio or video file for them. The payment rates offered are per hour of the file to be transcribed. While these companies may not pay much, your earnings do improve as you become better. And no skill is required to get started.

Writing Articles:

Most websites and businesses need top-notch articles to promote their services or to bring in more traffic. These jobs can be found via freelance websites like Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr. You can also try submitting your articles to publications who pay better rates.

Proofreading:

If you find yourself correcting common writing errors and still remember the grammar rules you learned in school then try proofreading for a living. Many bloggers write their own articles but like to have a proofreader go through their work before they publish it. Law firms, authors and businesses offer similar opportunities. Becoming a court transcripts proofreader requires higher standards but it also pays better.

Become a Virtual Assistant:

As more and more people work as entrepreneurs from their own homes they are in need of people who can help them with tasks. The demand for virtual assistants is rising.

A virtual assistant’s tasks may include social media management, formatting and editing content, scheduling travel, or managing emails.

Doing Surveys Online:

Answering survey is a quick way to earn some money. While these may not add up to a lot, they are an easy and fast method to earn a little extra.

Sell on Amazon:

There are many, many people who sell items on the world’s largest retailer and earn money from home. If you are thinking that you do not know how to sell on Amazon, then there are courses available for that, even free ones. You can easily search for these online. These courses will even help you choose what products to sell.

Teach English (or other languages and subjects):

Did you know that you may be able to teach English online to children around the world to earn money?

VIPKID is an online teaching and educational company which has over 500,000 paying students located in 63 countries. They do have certain minimum requirements for their teachers.

Write a book:

If you have a story to tell or have a skill that will be useful to other people, think about writing a book. This is a great way to earn a regular income. Books are a great way to earn passive income. Once the book is written and published, you will keep earning money each time you make a sale.

There are many free and paid courses and other articles available online to help you write, publish and sell your book.

Teach a skill:

Is there something you know well that others may want to pay you to teach them? This could be anything from gardening, photography, outdoor survival skills, an instrument, fitness and personal training, a sport. Use your local listings to search or list your self. Teachable is an online platform that lets you create and sell your own course and get paid for it.

Rent stuff:

Got extra space, an unused room, an empty garage or a parking spot. Think about renting these out to earn extra bucks. Going away for a few months? Convert your home to an Airbnb.

Apart from earning money, you could look at ways to reduce costs. Here are easy ways to save money from your monthly budget without impacting your standard of living

These are just some of the ideas that you can use to earn money to fund an alternative life. Before I sign off, I would like to thank Maureen, the owner of this site for allowing me the opportunity to write for her blog. If you are interested in discovering more ways to fund your lifestyle or to earn money while you follow your passion? Follow my Pinterest Board where I curate useful articles, tips and ideas from across the web.

Bhavna Vaish is a blogger who loves the world of finance. She writes about being wise with your money so you can live a life you love on a budget you can afford.  Her blog Pennies For Cents has more useful articles for you. She has been a banker and a finance professional for many years before choosing early retirement.

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