Tune into Opportunity with Luke Wright

Image source: Photographer Ian Waldie

We might all understand the benefits of meditation but are unsure how and where to start. As Luke Wright shares, the opportunity is not just waiting, but can be IN the waiting.

There’s been a lot said and written about meditation in the West since the first wave of Eastern teachers graced American or European shores, and these days all the guidance you might need is at your fingertips via an app on your phone; so why does it seem that these techniques have yet to make much of a dent in the Australian psyche?

For a start, we’re a relatively young culture and, like any unruly teenager, we don’t like being told what to do.

And second, it’s not only about learning techniques; it’s also about what we value.

As a teacher in the mindfulness and meditation field, it’s my job to ask people to choose one value over another.

To value taking five or 10 minutes to breathe consciously rather than getting more sleep, tackling the to-do list or responding to another email.

I certainly understand that there are ridiculous demands on our time these days, just ask any parent trying to juggle all the elements.

However, the key to the benefits of meditation and mindfulness lies not so much in how much time you can give it, but in bringing mindful awareness into your everyday, every day.

Infusing your day with conscious breathing is valuing a calm state within your nervous system over “getting something done so then I can relax” – which rarely happens because there’s always something to do.

The key to creating the habit of infusing your day with awareness is to practice when there is a little gap.

There’s a wonderful story from a meditation teacher in California who practised in the Zen tradition initially. His teacher was the wife of a dentist and mother of five! When a new student would say to her “I just don’t have the time to meditate,” she would often reply that she meditated when stopped at red lights in the car, or driving the kids to and from school: in the waiting IS the opportunity.

The opportunity to notice your breath – the cool inhale through the nostrils, the warm exhale from the belly. The opportunity to notice precisely the sensations in your body, the tension that can be released on the exhale; the opportunity to check in with what your mind is saying underneath the obvious, the underlying current that is telling you how to be in that moment and asking,

“Is that really true, or can I relax more than my mind tells me I can right now?”

Every time you do this, you own your narrative and sense of self and change it at the same time.

You infuse the moment with awareness and are no longer unconsciously going along for the ride.

Meditation is making the unconscious conscious. You never needed to be sitting in lotus posture to do it.

Like anything else, it takes practice.

So practice like who you want to be depends on it; the opportunity is waiting.


1) Dedicate a moment to it: It might simply be closing your eyes for a minute when your first get in the car in the morning to ‘check in’.
2) Use your body to hack your brain: Taking time out after any physical activity is a great time to be still for 10 minutes and just breathe.
3) Use tech to your advantage: Set a reminder on your phone to listen to a guided meditation or do your own 10 minute practice daily.
4) Have your go-to spot: In the garden or a quiet room, just walking to a dedicated spot will be enough to change your chemistry for the better.
5) Don’t stress over it: You can’t get it wrong, the willingness to try trumps any story your mind might have. You can always come back to the breath!


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