6 Mindfulness practices you can do while at the airport

At Avalon, we do our very best to guide your journey from the moment you reach out with the first question, all the way through your journey, before and after the medicine. 

That also includes the period you are to travel from your home to our retreat base in Barcelona. Since most of you are taking flights, we thought of some mindfulness practices to keep your mind and heart in the right place before your arrival. 

It’s probably not your first flight, but have you ever considered the meaning of an airport and the practices you can enjoy while traveling?

For us, airports are a great source of inspiration.

And here’s why: 

  1. It’s a direct reflection of the mind 
  2. It’s like walking into a living library
  3. You’re about to make a jump to another place
  4. You can breathe in an in-between place
  5. It’s a living reminder of how big the world is
  6. Feels good to know your destination, even if it’s just one

We’ve put together a series of mindfulness practices at the airport along the side of these perspectives to help you stay connected with the place you’re at and prepare for the one you’re about to arrive at. 

  1. Mindfulness when you arrive at the airport

A direct reflection of the mind? Absolutely! 

A mind is an arrival place of all thoughts and the same goes for an airport. Each thought that comes in is linked to a storyline and it needs to be acknowledged, and further guided. So do the people arriving at the airport. 

Here’s your first mindfulness practice: 

Imagine everyone is just like your thoughts. Coming from one place and transitioning to another. 

Some of the transitions are automatic, while others need further attention and guidance. An automatic transition in the airport would be someone that arrives with the check-in made in advance and heads out straight to the gate, while in the mind this would translate into a thought that is already categorized and moves you without further questions. 

Now, when it comes to those that need further guidance, in the airport would be the people requesting a flight, tickets, etc., and when it comes to the mind, the mirror image would be a thought you don’t immediately understand what it means or needs from you. 

In all this, you are the observer. The place where thoughts arrive to be redirected and supported if needed. You are the team that manages the airport. 

Ask yourself the following questions and notice what arises. Feel free to write them down and journal as you go along.

  • Am I willing to recognize that my mind represents an arrival point?
  • How do I feel about guiding my thoughts?
  • Do I have a practice in place for listening to these thoughts, as the airport has support offices? 
  • Can I plan a day/one hour a week to open myself up for what my world might need of me? 
  • What would be the best way for me to listen? What place inspires me most, and what kind of meditation can I do to feel at ease doing this? 

 

  1. Mindfulness while walking around the airport

A living library it is! Everyone walking around you has a life story, made of stories of the ones it encountered. Not to mention their lineage! 

Energetically, you can feel it. A walking, talking, ever-growing library. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ll find it here.

If you’re seeking yourself, your uniqueness, you’ll find it by submerging yourself in a pool of people. Sometimes it’s easier to find yourself when surrounded by all you are not. 

Here’s your practice:

Leaving all judgment aside, look at the people that pass by and those who are sitting around you. Make a list of all the things you like as if you’re faced with a catalog of features, objects, and bodies to choose from. 

It’s important to remind yourself of the things your heart desires. Do it as often as you can, as detailed as you wish it to be. This way you’ll constantly remind your being of your wishes and your mind will have it easier to make choices accordingly. 

 

  1. Mindfulness while flying on an airplane

Flying to another place is not the same as walking two blocks away from your flat to buy the newspaper. You are changing spaces, and spaces are uniquely designed by those living there. Think of it as architecture. It’s unique and it functions a certain way. 

Here’s your practice: 

Here and now, become aware of the changes that you are about to experience. New feelings and new thoughts will arise as you’ll land in a new place. You can avoid the surprise of feeling pulled apart by a space that has a different rhythm and values by making your arrival known to it. 

How? By respectfully meeting the space and fusing with it consciously. 

Here’s a statement you can make out loud or in your mind upon arrival to a new place: 

My name is (say your name) and I am thrilled to be your guest. I belong to my lands and thus exist in a certain way. I hereby acknowledge you to be you and be to be me, yet both are connected. Let’s playfully and joyfully co-create this new experience. I am open to your teachings and wisdom. So be it.

As you breathe in, let yourself receive. As you breathe out, let yourself share. Fuse the being that you are with the space of arrival, and allow yourself to be surprised all the way through your stay. 

6 mindfulness practices you can do while at the airport

  1. Mindfulness while waiting at the airport

An airport is an in-between place. The bridge between A and B. One can see it as a moment of stalemate or one of rest, designed to gather your strength for further events. You are always free to choose the meaning of your experience.

Here’s your practice:

Take a couple of long, slow, deep breaths. Acknowledge that you are in an in-between. How does this awareness make you feel? 

Are you comfortable with it? Or does your chest and body shrink at the thought of it? 

Do a 100 things you’d rather be doing fly through your mind? 

What would it take for you to enjoy this moment, and see it as a phase of rest, one that your body can really enjoy? 

What if you drop all that list, and for the next 20 seconds, just breathe in and out? 

As you slowly relax, get familiar with how the in-between feels like. 

Now, can you think of some themes of your life where you feel currently in between? 

Would you be willing to relax and enjoy being there, the same way you previously did, by breathing slowly and enjoying where you are?

 

  1. Mindfulness for your journey

Even if you live in a big, diverse city, it’s easy to overlook how widely extended the world really is. Airports are a great place to remind yourself of it.

Here’s your practice: 

As you watch this great diversity of people walking by you, bring your awareness to your breath. As you breathe in, feel the expansion of your body. Can you imagine the number of possibilities out there? Every turn one can take, every place one can live in, all the passions one can have? All the wants and don’ts, all the lessons learned? 

Massive! Endless! 

As you shake off an initial feeling of being overwhelmed, you’ll reach a feeling of awe!

What else is possible for you at this moment? What turns can you take? 

Can you find a sense of gratefulness for all the paths you’ve walked and turn to others? What would that look like? 

  1. Mindfulness to be aware of your surroundings at the airport

There are so many things we don’t really know, things of the future and also things belonging to the past. We’re certainly being held and guided at all times, but let’s be honest, trusting and having faith doesn’t come as easy as we’d love to. 

Here’s your practice: 

Breathe in and become aware of the fact that, for the time being, you know one of your next destinations. Find comfort in knowing. It might be a grain in a field of many, but it’s one thing you know. 

Find comfort in this string of clarity, even if just for one breath. 

What other things you know can you think of? What else do you know of yourself, your likes, and your passions? 

Smile and ground yourself into what you know. Even if just for a moment. 

 

We hope these mindfulness practices were of help and you will add them to your “fun things I learned from Avalon kit”. 

Check out Avalon’s Ayahuasca retreats in Europe for upcoming dates and don’t hesitate to let us know what other themes from your daily life should we help you with, as you prepare or integrate your Ayahuasca experiences. Choose to enjoy your life! 

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