A Time For Reflection

The Zen of Travel
Musings on the benefits of travel

 Air travel can be long and arduous but also offers us a time to quiet our minds, screaming babies and snoring passengers aside.

People often complain that they don’t know how to meditate nor do they have the time. Flying to a far-off destination offers the time and space to make this happen. You are stuck in a confined place for an extended period of time with only a few distractions to keep you from engaging in a meditative practice.

Once the meals have been served, the t.v watched, books read and music listened to there is a chance for a few minutes of quiet reflection while you join the other passengers in a visit to the Sandman.

Typically one is expected to close their eyes and empty their mind of thoughts in order to meditate. Forget the screaming babies-they usually tend to be most vocal during take-off and landing anyways. Tune out the snoring passengers and disregard the person that has reclined in your lap.

Take a couple of deep breaths with slow and even breathing. Inhale for 1 second and exhale for 1 second. Each cycle increase this by 1 second until you reach 5 seconds (i.e. 5 seconds inhaling and 5 seconds exhaling).

Now rotate the ankles, one foot at a time. Go clockwise then counter-clockwise. Try to coordinate this with your breathing-inhale clockwise, exhale counter-clockwise. Repeat with the other foot.  The added benefit of this activity is the stimulation of your circulation – no one wants an in flight blood clot.

As you concentrate on this pattern, your nagging thoughts become less pronounced. With your eyes still closed, think of your destination. Think of why you are going there, what you want to do while you are there and what you hope will happen when you arrive.

This watered down version can still provide the benefits of a meditation practice: relaxation, stress-reduction and a sense of calm and peace. Taking a few moments to breathe, reflect and just be can have you relaxing before your trip even begins.


“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”
~Hans Christian Andersen~



Categories: Travel, Zen

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