Alternative forms of meditation
@sheeraz wrote a list called 10 Reasons why mediation is hard. Sitting in some sort of lotus position or whatever and telling yourself "now I am going to meditate" is hard. I can't do it, I've never been able to do that. At some point I picked up a broader definition of meditation that fits closer to what I can do. Some sort of thing, activity maybe, but a thing that allows you to clear out your mind for a few minutes or otherwise reboot would seem to offer meditative benefits.
My list is a few examples of this form of "meditation."
I've said this before on here but the concentration it requires forces me to think only about the exercise, nothing else. To Sheeraz' point there is no monkey brain while I am deadlifting, it is a total reboot of my brain. I get a similar effect from farmers carry too.
This doesn't necessarily clear my mind out or reboot my brain but when I hike, I figure a lot of stuff out. This is not intentional but my brain just sort of goes there.
3. Working to the point of exhaustion
This usually is a function of something related to firefighting and doesn't happen all the time. When we have a fire, it can be hours and hours of work. The picture is from the Green Gate Fire in 2013 that showed up as a FB memory. We worked from midnight until 4pm with just a couple of hours off in the middle. I was exhausted after that. This doesn't happen with every fire but it is a wonderful sensation to have worked very hard for a long time and then come in and plop down and reflect on what I just did. In this state I am usually too tired to think about much which actually has a restorative effect.
4. Greeting my dogs first thing in the morning
I start every morning giving and getting love from our dogs, we're down to four dogs these days.
5. From the sun?
Every so often I will lay out in the sun for about 10 minutes or so (that is a prudent length of time for me w/o sunscreen). Prudent exposure to the sun is important. This is possibly the closest I get to meditating in the manner most people think of it. It is relaxing like corpse pose in yoga. While it is relaxing, my brain doesn't necessarily reboot.
6. The Zen of shoveling snow?
Yes. Splitting firewood too.