meditatin132x118In Eastern philosophical systems like Buddhism, Taoism, and the Vedic traditions of India, longevity is viewed as a meaningful goal in a spiritual life.

by Frances Lefkowitz

Develop Awareness
“Longevity practices are aimed at cultivating consciousness and connecting with the divine,” says Rose. One of the most important steps on the path to spiritual liberation is self-awareness; to achieve it, you can turn again to meditation. Tai chi, chanting, or still and silent meditations can bring about what Rose calls “a gentle, clear awareness of your being.”

Simple body-awareness meditations allow you to develop consciousness of your physical, mental, and spiritual selves by listening to your senses. “The body’s only way to communicate with us is through sense mechanisms,” explains Rose.

A walking meditation can help beginners learn to cultivate awareness, since the motion gives them something to focus on.
1. Pick a level, private path indoors or out, and stand for a moment, bringing attention to your breath and posture, and then to the soles of your feet. Soften your eyes, and gaze just ahead of your feet.
2. Start walking slowly along the path, marking right and left as you lift each foot, and paying attention to every sensation your foot feels. After a few moments, make a mental note as each foot lifts, pushes off, and returns to the ground.
3. Once you have mastered this technique, break it down into 6 actions, silently naming each as you do it: Raise the heel, lift the foot, push it forward, drop it down, touch it to the ground, and press against the ground. The idea is to bring your full awareness to the many actions your foot performs and to all the sensations it experiences. Try continuing your mobile meditation for 5, 10, and eventually 20 minutes, if possible. When your attention wanders, simply return it to the sensation of walking.