Holidays - holy days - can be a time for reflection and rejuvenation by taking advantage of the scattered minutes of 'waiting' times in the midst of busy-ness.
Standing in line during holiday shopping the few weeks of advent leading to Christmas, hanging decorations, or waiting for cookies and cakes to finish baking are opportunities to quietly reflect on the qualities of kindness, caring and sharing that bring joy to both the giver and receiver - that birth joy in ourselves by their gift of giving.
And when you have a bit of time to yourself, here is a sitting meditation on the lasting qualities.
Preparation: In a quiet place sit with a straight back, hands folded in lap and close your eyes. Or if you have a holiday candle, just gently gaze at the flame with partially closed eyes.
Begin even and regular breathing in a pattern such as this: Count 1 breathe in; count 2 breathe out; count 3 breathe in, and continue counting breaths for at least a minute. This gives your mind something to do, while the even breathing de-stresses your body from the rush of holiday preparations and events.
Now, let go of the counting but continue to breathe evenly with no breath retention.
In your thoughts take yourself back to a pleasant holiday from your past; maybe from your childhood. Remember the excitement and anticipation you felt. Ask yourself how you could experience that this year.
Perhaps giving someone a surprise is one way; I find the planning energizing, and the recipient benefits, too!
Take a few moments to appreciate your family and friends, and send out positive thoughts to our world family for peace and harmony.
To finish your meditation take a deep breath, stand up and stretch.
Take time for reflecting
On qualities lasting.
Article by Susan Helene Kramer
For offline reading
Meditation Lessons for Teens and Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.