What Activities Complement Meditation?

Article 2 mins Meditation & Mindfulness
A meditation teacher suggests certain activities to bolster a mindful existence.
What Activities Complement Meditation?

Beyond a meditation practice, I have found countless things that can support our wellbeing. All these facets of our lifestyle weave together and bring out our best. Sometimes it’s just a matter of doing things meditatively — with joy and connection. And with some activities, we need to do some research to find what fits us best.

9 Activities to Bolster a Mindful Existence

Here are some of the things I find most supportive:

1. Letting love be the main guiding principle in my life and work.

2. Getting enough sleep unlocks our inner healing capacity. Trying to get to bed by 9 or 10 o’clock allows for higher-quality sleep.

3. Being outside when possible: the sky, the unexpected encounters with creatures, the fresh air.

4. Cooking and eating organic, vegetarian food that is local and seasonal. Homemade food nourishes us in many ways — with its vitality, love, and joy.

5. Gardening. There’s nothing like eating something right off the vine. And being in touch with growing things also sprouts something inside that feels balanced and joyful.

6. Cardiovascular exercise energizes my body and flushes and frees my mind to meander in creative thinking. I also love jogging or biking near home — the same horizon looks different every day.

7. Connecting with friends. Being there for each other is suitable for all of us and brings out the best in us — making life richer with all the ups and downs and the synchronicities.

8. Talking to teachers once in a while reframes my perspective and refreshes my spirit.

9. Drawing and painting are ways of meditating for me. I love how fresh it makes me feel and how it helps me live in this moment. 

Build a mindfulness practice with this course, Introduction to Mindfulness, from meditation teacher Curtis Smith.

Header photo: ArtistGNDphotography/E+/Getty Images

About the author

JAYA SHARMA

JAYA SHARMA

Jaya was born in the US, and spent much of her adult life in India learning and cultivating art, Dharma, and meditation. She is a gentle revolutionary whose meditation teaching incorporates Buddhism, Christianity, yoga, Advaita (non-duality) and Hindu mysticism, along with ecology, embodied movement, and the Japanese art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. Jaya started practicing meditation in 1985, when she also began her studies of religion and art at Harvard. An authorized Dharma teacher since 1998, she has taught over 250 meditation retreats to thousands of people. A pioneer, she teaches meditation through deep rest to contact life beyond ideas. In the 2000s, she founded the international nonprofit Open Dharma and co-founded the eco-hermitage of Dharmaloca to help people from dozens of countries discover and flourish on their own original paths. After offering Dharma “off the grid” at Dharmaloca for a decade, Jaya now teaches experiential Dharma primarily online—bringing alive ancient texts and modern poetry, traditional techniques and spontaneous insights.
View Profile