I'm here to say that you can throw all the rules out the window and still gain all the benefits of meditating anywhere, even while actively doing other things.
Meditating is whatever you want it to be, but most of all it is a relaxing event that rejuvenates us.
It can be done anywhere, with your eyes open and even while moving.
Moving meditations can actually have multiple levels of benefits for the mind and body.
Motion moves stagnant energy around, it also gets your blood pumping and you often breathe more deeply and even more steadily when in continual motion.
Try a walking meditation as a start.
(Please note that meditating is not recommended while driving or operating heavy machinery.
) The best way to begin a walking meditation is to have an area where you can safely walk, free from traffic and many other hazards or distractions.
The idea is not to ignore your surroundings, but to become one with them by letting the mind flow freely.
Your choice of walking area will play an important part in your ability to concentrate on both the here and now, as well as the zone of never-ending oneness (or nothingness) that meditation can bring you to.
Choose a walking track inside of a park area or at a local school if possible.
Walking in between the lines of a track will help you concentrate less on surroundings and more on walking and centering the mind.
It provides a similar mental effect of a labyrinth walk, but it ends when you want it to end or continues for as long as you like to walk on the track.
As you walk around and stay in between the lines, or walk on a defined path in a forest area, you can enjoy the surroundings while shifting your mind to any point either inside your mind or around you.
You can concentrate on an image in your mind or stare at a far off tree that comforts you.
The idea is to keep your focus centered and this is where the relaxation benefits take place.
Clearing the mind of the cacophony of constant thoughts is key to gaining balance in everything you do.
An active, walking meditation can achieve this balance.
Another way of meditating in an active state, or on-the-go; you can shift your mind into another space while doing everyday activities.
If you had to picture this physically, it would be as if part of your brain stepped to the side of you and could concentrate on something else while simultaneously still continuing the task at hand.
This is only recommended while doing simple tasks and is not to be done while driving or doing tasks that require full concentration for safety.
You can slowly practice shifting your mind by starting a simple task, for instance, washing a floor or vacuuming a carpet.
While you wash the floor, or vacuum, you can begin to concentrate on something simple, perhaps a shape, a single color, or even a place like a pond, river, or waterfall.
Hold this image in your mind while you continue your active task.
Over time you can do various tasks while visualizing whatever simple or complex things you would like.
This is similar to daydreaming, but is more relaxing and active at the same time.
By doing this sort of meditating throughout your day while you walk or do various tasks, you will have added a meditation practice to your life with ease.
Meditation does not have to be about sitting down and being silent for hours at a time and for many, mistakenly trying to reach a goal of some sort.
This is contrary to the experience of meditating.
Meditation can be about connecting with the various parts of yourself that you often don't explore every day.
The concentration alone will quiet the mind and focus it on things that we often ignore, the simpler, more serene things that can calm us, and provide many health benefits.
Begin to implement even short, five-minute active meditations into your schedule and see a difference in the way you feel and the way you begin to see life and think about things.
Adding meditation, in any form, will begin to alter your life in a more positive way.