How to Meditate on Your Commute

As subways become increasingly overcrowded and delayed, we’re guessing that your daily commute is becoming a more stressful affair.

Well, dear reader, we wish you a peaceful and pleasurable trip to work this morning however you’re arriving, and here’s something that might help you achieve that: meditation.

According to research, meditation can help ease mental tension, and it might alsoimprove sleep, fight depression and illness, and reduce lower back pain.

A straightforward and accessible technique is mindfulness meditation, said David Gelles, a reporter at The Times who recently wrote a guide to meditation.

“It’s paying attention to the present moment on purpose, in a particular and nonjudgmental way,” he told us.

You can practice mindfulness with a cup of coffee, while brushing your teeth, or even as you update Facebook.

But on a bus, train or subway?

Tough places in which to meditate, we assumed. But no.

“Instead of focusing on how crowded or dirty the subway car is, try to feel the sensations of your own body,” said Mr. Gelles, who meditates on his commute.

Notice how you’re standing still and moving very fast at the same time.

Listen to the car clatter.

Can you listen without attributing a positive or negative emotion to the sound?

Take it one step further, Mr. Gelles said: Practice metta, or lovingkindness, meditation by silently wishing well to the people around you.

“It might sound silly,” he said, “but it’s a way to cultivate good will in yourself and create a noticeable change in your disposition.”

(Or you could block out other riders entirely with our guided virtual reality meditation series.)

Hey, it’s worth a shot.