23: Tips for meditation when travelling

This week’s question come from Lily, who I just met at my guesthouse in Bali. She asks for some help or suggestions to make meditating easier when you are on the road. She typically uses guided meditation, which she finds easier than sitting in silence but often they aren’t available without wifi. Plus she finds if difficult to find time and space to be alone.

Before I answer Lily’s question, I share a quick story about how I got physically assaulted by a monkey last weekend and he stole my sunglasses.

Tips for mediating when travelling:

  • Spotify. If you have a Spotify subscription then you can save tracks for offline listening and Spotify does now offer some podcasts including meditation podcasts and guided meditation like Mini Meditations from Chel Hamilton.
  • Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and look weird, you really can meditate anywhere – on the train, bus, in a waiting room, by the pool, in public spaces, like parks and churches, sitting up in bed.
  • A note about silence: You do not need silence to meditate. You need to let this notion go, just like I did around needing silence to record this podcast. In fact with enough noise, I actually think it becomes easier. With enough noise, it becomes white noise which is easy to ignore, like air con, or the sound of crickets, or even people speaking all around you in a language that you don’t understand.
  • See if you can listen to the silence in which the sounds exists within. To understand more about this, make sure you tune into next weeks interview with best selling Hay House author, Sandy Newbigging.
  • Do activities which bring you peace. Especially if you are feeling out of your comfort zone or out of routine.
  • Like I said in the intro, I haven’t had a lot of real alone time over the last 3 months. And I have started to find that a bit difficult. One thing that I have done which is just for me is in the last few weeks while in Bali I’ve been going to yoga most days. Normally I’m a lazy yogi and only go once a month or so, but I find yoga a really active way of tuning back into my self and my body. And yoga doesn’t even need to be that active, I’ve been doing a mixture of Aerial yoga, which is just for fun, and yin or restorative which I love because I can meditate for the whole class and this is great if I’ve been finding it hard to find the space to do that. I even fell asleep in restorative yoga that other day and it was the best!
  • So if you can, Do do active things which bring you into that state of calm, whether its yoga or running or hiking and spending time in nature, although I don’t recommend monkeys! Or maybe it’s riding a motorcycle or surfing or skiing.
  • If you are used to guided meditations and find sitting in silence difficult, then there are some options and technique out there that you can do on your own and they aren’t hard. The first is simply closing your eyes and counting your thoughts for about 30 seconds or so. Seriously, let’s do this right now, Just for a moment close your eyes…. now count your thoughts as they run through your mind…..
  • How many thoughts did you have? 3, 10, 20 thoughts? Don’t worry the answer isn’t actually important. In fact, I’d be more impressed if you had more thoughts because that tells me you were really paying attention. I can guarantee that you had more thoughts than you actually counted. I bet there were some voices in your head that sounded just like you that you didn’t even notice were actually thoughts.
  • So you can count your thoughts, You can also watch your breathe or control your breathing to a certain count. You may know of Pranayama exercises like alternate nostril breathing or fire-breathing but a super simple technique is simply called 4-7-8 breathing which has been developed by a Harvard doctor, Dr Andrew Weil. All you do is breath in through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, breathe out through your mouth for a count of eight. This technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which gets you out of flight or flight mode and creates calm.

Finally, you can download my very own pink light technique and other meditation recommendations over at lilab.life/toptips.  

So I leave Bali this time next week and head to Singapore for a few days where I’ll be teaching meditation which will be exciting. You’re welcome to join me of course if you happen to be in Singapore!

Then I’ll be home, back to NZ and I still don’t know what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be living for certain. I have some options, but none of them are really getting me excited at the moment. So it is these things which have been affecting my peace and my happiness lately. And while I don’t really have a solution yet, which makes me reluctant to go into too much detail about it, I do know that it’s simply a case of my same old familiar patterns and desire to control the situation and want it all to look a certain way, which has kept me feeling stuck around it. And as long as I’m stuck, I’m not going to find a suitable solution and I’m going to limit and close off all the wonderful possibilities that could exist if only I am present to them.

So I’m back to needing to remind myself that this is an adventure, this is meant to be fun and exciting, and to be here fully in Bali enjoying every moment of this wonderful experience sans monkeys, and I want to say trust, but again like Jivana talked about in episode 11 and Sandy is going to talk about it more next week, it goes even beyond the need to trust anything.

So my thanks goes out again to Lily, for asking such a great question.

Please do share this show with your friends. and if you have any travelling mediation tips of your own. head over to the show notes at lilab.life/23 and share them with us in the comments.


My monkey story:

my last moments with my sunglasses

My final moments with my sunglasses…

monkey stole my sunglasses

Moments later, this happened!

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