Bali, Indonesia is called the Island of the Gods because it has over 10,000 temples in natural magical settings. For those who want to try meditation while on vacation, Bali is ideal because there’s always a temple nearby or the sound of the ocean or a tropical jungle. But what about those of us who can’t make it to Bali? Perhaps we’re sitting on a plane or train or stuck in traffic in the passenger seat of a car while trying to go on vacation. How are we supposed to quiet our restless and agitated minds? It’s impossible.
Ibu Fera, Wellness Mentor at Four Seasons Resorts Bali, disagrees. “The beauty of meditation is that it can be done anytime, anyplace, whenever you need it,” she says.
Fera has created five steps for meditating at home, at the office, at an airport, outside in a p[ark — basically, anywhere: 1. Find a quiet place and time, where you can be undisturbed: This can be in your office, in a garden or park, at home, even in a quiet corner of the airport while waiting for a flight or once in the air. Indoor spaces have fewer distracting sounds, but if you prefer the outdoors, try and distance yourself from cars and other people.
2. Assume a comfortable posture : No matter where you are, find a comfortable chair with cushions and pillows and back support. Loosen any tight clothing. Take off your shoes. Turn off your phone. Remember to keep your back straight and your feet flat on the ground.
3. Choose an object of concentration: First, concentrate on your breath. The purpose of meditation is to take your mind off distracting thoughts. Breathe in through your nose and hold it for two seconds. Keep your breath inside for another two seconds, then open your mouth and exhale for two seconds. Try and go one more second each time you practice. If you don’t like keeping your eyes closed, choose a nearby object to stare at. You may also light incense or a scented candle to both relax you and help you breath in a calming aroma.
4. Maintain concentration on the object chosen above: Set a timer for three to five minutes. Concentrate on following your breath in and out and empty your mind of thoughts. Naturally, your mind will wander because that’s what the mind likes to do. Just be aware and bring your mind gently back to the object of concentration. Relax. When you catch your mind wandering, remind yourself to concentrate on breathing. Play calming music or listen to the sounds of nature.
5. Set a positive intention for the activities ahead: For example, “May the event be successful.” “May the meeting run smoothly.” “May my travels be safe.” “May I not be afraid.” As you follow your breath in and out, empty your mind of thoughts.
Naturally, we can’t all go to Bali (right now) and stay at the iconic all-villa beach retreat of Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, cascading down hilly headland and tropical water gardens adorned with hundreds of statues and shrines all the way to the sparkling Indian Ocean.
Nor can we experience the Four Seasons Sayan, an intimate hideaway nestled between two rivers and offering spacious suites and private villas submerged in the jungle. Both resorts are ideal to mediate or learn to meditate, but you’re waiting to travel internationally right now, find a comfortable quiet spot, close your eyes, and listen to the sound of your breath.
Meditation is one of the best tools we have to release stress, counter the brain’s negativity, create positive intentions, and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness.