Bio-hacking is all the rage. Just like a lot of you, I've been adding grass-fed butter to my coffee and taking supplements to make my mind more focused, increase energy, and boost work performance. Through my own experimentation I can vouch that many of these methods work, but for centuries we've known (through science and ancient practices) that meditation is probably the most beneficial life/bio-hack available.
So where do you start if you have no idea how to meditate, or have tried but feel like you just can't do it?
1. Take a walk
Walking meditation has been around for centuries and is practiced in many traditions. It's best when done outdoors and when it's done with intention. If possible, get yourself into nature, but an urban walk will do just fine. Bring your attention to the ground beneath your feet, the sky, and the people/sights around you. Keep your mind focused on your steps and breath. This is the simplest and quickest form of meditation I've discovered, and moving your body helps to keep your energy flowing and prevents stagnation of all kinds.
2. Take a bath
Einstein has famously said he had some of his biggest breakthroughs in the bathtub. When you are in a relaxed state of mind, your brain will most likely give you some of your most connected, creative and possibly genius ideas. Focus on the warm water, clear your mind and simply relax. Some people like to chant in the bathtub or even say a prayer! Do whatever works to help you unwind.
3. Go for a drive
Ohso was famous for practicing what he called driving meditation. You have to be attentive while driving. Focus on the road, your hands on the wheel, and the pedals. If possible find somewhere where you can drive for a long distance without stopping (preferably in nature but a highway will do). Keep the radio off and eliminate as many distractions as you can. I've experienced some of my biggest "a-ha" moments while making long road trips. This can also be practiced as a passenger, as long as whoever is driving is willing to participate (and remain alert on the road!).
4. Say "thank you"
Gratitude is one of the easiest ways to shift your energy. If you find yourself disturbed or out of balance simply say, "thank you." You can do it inwardly or out loud if it's appropriate. You can take the practice further by naming things you're thankful for. They can be as simple as "thank you for the delicious egg" you had for breakfast or "thank you to the friend who took the time to text" that morning. Stay focused on being thankful as long as you can, even if you can only think of small or seemingly silly things--I've discovered there is always something I can find to say "thank you" about even when I'm in the worst of moods.
5. Listen to a guided meditation
Guided meditations were the first way I learned to meditate. They literally walk you through a process. It's best to try a few methods (and voices frankly). But you'll soon discover yourself immersed in a meditation process and won't even notice it when 20 or 30 minutes go by. This is one of my favorite resources to access a free guided meditation to get you started. There are thousands of others available online and through streaming devices.
6. Set a timer for 2 minutes
I think most people think meditation only works if you do it for long periods of time. While that's amazing, a 2-minute meditation is a great place to start. Meditation isn't an endurance sport so don't view it as such. Start small and gradually work towards longer increments. If you can seriously meditate 2-5 minutes everyday, you'll reap many benefits.