Recalibrate in Eight

A new take on an old practice. How to meditate between life’s busy moments.

By Erica Tasto

Every morning Drew Stevens wakes and sits motionless for eight whole minutes. He scoots to the edge of his bed, feet flat and arms tucked into his sides at neat right angles. He inhales deeply then lets the air out slowly. The 21-year-old Minnesotan began meditating a year ago after hearing it could help relieve stress and improve concentration.

“How often are you awake, fully conscious, and not thinking about anything? Never.” Stevens added that taking that small amount of time out of his day to stop and reflect leaves him feeling alert and focused.

When it comes to relaxation, being busy is no longer an excuse. Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t just for quiet hermits sitting cross-legged in a temple repeatedly humming “om.” In his book 8 Minute Meditation, seasoned meditator Victor Davich guides readers through a simple process tailored to fit the busiest of schedules.

“Eight minutes is a good time frame,” says Davich, who has been meditating for over 25 years. “It’s the time between two TV commercials. So, if you can watch CSI or Oprah, you can meditate.”

If you think it’s too complicated, too spiritual, or too time-consuming, fear not. Davich has three simple steps to kick-start even the most skeptical: meditate when you first get up, at the same time every day, and in easy-to-manage periods. Want more? Davich’s book guides readers through an eight-week program with techniques to control your mind, body, and breathing patterns. At 8 minutes a day, that’s 7 hours and 28 minutes of pure relaxation.

“Meditation is just not thinking,” says avid practitioner Stevens. “You can hear more, see more, feel more. You get more effects out of life because you’re just in the moment.” That’s something worth spending a few minutes on.