*MEDITATION: Active Meditation

Not everyone can sit still for the more traditional forms of meditation, which is why active meditation can be a great alternative or variation. It promotes a greater sense of awareness, centeredness and relaxation.

Any activity, from walking to swimming, can be a form of active meditation as long as you make a conscious effort to involve your mind, body and spirit.

Decide in your mind that you are going to participate in active meditation, and determine for how long.

Begin by focusing on the present. Acknowledge any thoughts of the future or past and allow them to pass.

Be aware of your actions. Whether you're walking, eating, dancing or sitting, marvel at every aspect of what you're doing.

Experience how your feet feel as they touch the ground. Appreciate your body as you move, noticing your arms as they sway, your legs as they extend, your shoulders as they relax.

Notice the intricate details of your surroundings - the smells, the vibrant colors, the sounds, the textures.

Feel your rib cage and belly expanding and contracting as you breathe.

Imagine what the activity would be like for a child or for someone who had never experienced it before.

Decide when the active meditation is over. It can end either at the completion of your activity or simply when you decide it's over.