Meditation in Action

How to meditate while remaining active

Our Meditation-in-Action is a way of meditating while remaining active. This can be an incredibly relaxing experience. It can also bring insights into how we resist the natural flow of life and help you to let go of that resistance and experience activity in a more natural and spontaneous way. This meditation can be for personal growth, or simply to relax.

Usually this meditation will be most effective if you can take at least an hour to do it. It can even become the basis of a day long retreat.

How to do this meditation

Set aside a couple of hours, or better yet a morning or even a whole day in which you will only do what you want to do when you want to do it.

The basic meditation is to spend some time doing only what you want to do in the moment. It is usually most effective to do this in your own home or in an environment that you spend a lot of time in. The idea isn’t necessarily to do something special or to get involved in a project that takes planning or commits you to a certain course of action (like taking a trip). It is better to leave things open-ended so that you have the freedom to start one thing and stop it or change your focus at any time.

During this time let go of any ideas of what you think you should do and everything you think needs to be done. That even includes “I should do something really special that I always want to do but don’t have time for”. Don’t plan your time ahead. Don’t think about what to do, just start doing what comes to you naturally. Do what you want to do in every moment as it arises. You may notice yourself judging what you choose to do, but let that go. Just follow the impulses of the moment.

At times you may sit or lie down and do nothing, at other times you may have an inspiration of something new and different to do, and at other times you may surprise yourself by finding you are doing something on your to-do list. The feeling as you do these things will be completely different, however, as you let go of any agendas and any shoulds. You may find yourself actually enjoying doing things that you might not normally enjoy, simply because there is no longer a sense that “I have to do this” or a pressure about time.

What is so relaxing is the sense of freedom in just letting yourself do as you please — letting yourself be. You may learn quite a lot about how your mind is always evaluating what you are doing and whether or not it is worthwhile, “good” or “bad”, and so on.

The music on our Pure Light CD would provide a relaxing support for this meditation.  We also offer our Guided Meditation CDs to gently coax your mind, body and spirit to relax (see below).


13 Responses to “Meditation in Action”

  1. Hiren Shah on May 8th, 2010 1:56 am

    This is a very interesting meditation as J.krishnamurthy has said that meditation is to observe all thoughts, feelings and action as hey arise. In that context, meditation is an on going process and not restricted it to fixed hours.

    India’s other great mystic, Osho has said this in the context of meditation and activitiy/action ” Somebody who could have been a poet is just a moneylender. Somebody who could have been a painter is a doctor. Somebody who could have been a good doctor is a businessman. Everybody is displaced. Everybody is doing something that he never wanted to do. Hence unhappiness. Happiness happens when you fit with your life. When you fit so harmoniously that whatsoever you are doing is your joy. Then suddenly you come to know that meditation follows you. If you love the work you are doing, if you love the way you are living, then you are meditative. It is deemed that happiness comes when one is meditative. It is just the other way around. One is meditative when one is happy. “

  2. Mary on May 8th, 2010 1:04 pm

    Beautiful quote, thank you!

  3. Eleanor on August 14th, 2010 3:39 am

    Very often I shared with my spiritual director that I felt a gap between my spiritual life and daily life. I am calm and my thinking is clear while meditating, but I seem to be disconnected from “the centre of my being” when I get back to the busy life of a school teacher. It seems that I am not able to draw the fruits of my daily meditations.

    This post on meditation in action inspires me to put the spirit of meditation into the things that I do every day, with my whole heart. This may be an opportunity for me to try to bridge the gap between the spiritual and the practical.

    Many thanks for this beautiful and inspiring post. I will definitely try it, especially when I practise my musical instruments.

  4. Mary on August 14th, 2010 8:22 am

    Let us know how it goes!

  5. Eleanor on August 15th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Dear Mary,

    I tried this meditation in action this morning while practising my musical instrument. It seems that I performed better and picked up new musical pieces more easily. I’ve become more conscious of the music I am playing and have experienced the freedom of expressing myself more freely through music. I am able to produce the musical effects that I want to hear.

    Many thanks for your inspiration in this post. I will keep trying this in my work.

    Yours sincerely,


  6. Mary on August 16th, 2010 6:18 pm

    That’s great to hear, Eleanor! Perhaps I should talk about this on the podcast! You are welcome…

  7. tina rene on November 3rd, 2011 1:57 pm

    i realize that when i am in-tune with myself that i do this naturally, but often judged myself later for how i spent my time, as if it should have been more productive or focused. but interesting that upon reading this i feel like i can open up and let go of the judgement and honor myself for being present

  8. Mary on November 3rd, 2011 5:20 pm


  9. Fighting Stress with Meditation | on January 17th, 2013 7:47 pm

    […] Meditation in Action is at its core learning to take a mindful or sacred pause and self regulate the “fight or flight” aspect of your nervous system, which can effect positive changes in the neuronal pathways to the amygdala, the walnut-sized area in the center of the brain responsible for regulating emotions. When the amygdala is relaxed, the parasympathetic nervous system engages to counteract the anxiety response. Instead, it activates what we call the relaxation or healing response, when the heart rate lowers, breathing deepens and slows, and the body stops releasing cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream; these stress hormones provide us with quick energy in times of danger but have damaging effects on the body in the long term if they’re too prevalent. In mindfulness you learn to slow down and to take your body’s pulse. Even though mindfulness originated in an Eastern culture, it is a standalone practice that is not associated with any religion or spirituality. […]

  10. Justin on March 3rd, 2013 2:22 am

    First thank you for your podcast on internet, worked well for me, I have followed link to your website here. And I have read and tried this Meditation In Action afternoon, without set to achieve any goal on agenda. it have helped me to realize more clear about how a habit,which a past memory subconsciously triggered my emotion in daily life.

    During the practice I was walking outside, some thoughts link to past memory pop up by themselves, my attention and will have been attracted into a past memory of someone’s rude manner, and my body reacted by habit of resistance on flow of energy of hurt feeling, now it become more obvious for me to know what happening at the time. Now while one part of my will get attracted into participation and interpretation of the past memory, and struggle to resist this hurt feeling; another part of my will starts gains more attention on sense the muscle pain on my face, and try to let feeling energy flow freely. Thanks again for your practice.

    Still find it hard for me to let feeling energy flow freely, that tension on muscle can take hours even days to ease and diminish. It seems to do with some part of my will, that strongly unsatisfied with some past events and want control the feeling.

  11. Mary on March 3rd, 2013 10:33 am

    You’re welcome, Justin. Thank you for sharing your experience here. Yes, it takes time for old habits to change. Just continue as you are doing and as time goes by things should improve. Most of all be easy about the practice. It’s not through our will or trying that we’re able to let things flow. It’s about letting go! You’re gaining such great self-awareness, and this is the basis of much change. Best wishes.

  12. Justin on March 4th, 2013 4:16 am

    Thank you Mary, that really the key point and I will keep in mind. Your podcast and website are very interesting and resourceful, can’t wait to try your other guided meditations and musics!

  13. Tara on July 11th, 2015 6:56 pm

    Hi Mary, is this on the iPhone app?

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