I wrote this poem when I was a child.
I found it years later after I had been practicing meditation for 20 years. I was stunned. I obviously had experiences of stillness and silence as a child to write something like this.
Then I realized that the most effective meditation for me is to sit and watch my mind and my breath. I find it fascinating and deeply relaxing. I have the pleasure of getting to know myself. It is true for me that silence is my favorite companion. That is my inner being, my center, my home. It is me in the fullest sense of the word.
Don’t try to stop the mind.
If you try to stop your mind, most often your meditation practice becomes a battle with your mind. That is counterproductive. The mind is a thinking organ, just like the heart pumps blood throughout your body. Trying to stop the mind is a fruitless endeavor. It simply aggravates the mind, which winds it up. Watching the mind allows the mind to unwind and then it will naturally slow down and you will have periods of stillness between the thoughts. It is something that happens naturally without force. Over time, the spaces increase in frequency and duration.
There are many meditation techniques.
Meditation techniques are designed to focus the mind on an object whether it be the breath, a word, a candle or something else. By focusing the mind, it brings concentration and allows a break from the constant flow of thoughts. We begin to see that there is more to our inner landscape than our thoughts.
The purpose of the focus is to move you into a state of witness conscious, where you can watch the mind from a detached perspective. Once you experience that, the object of focus can be relinquished and the meditation becomes watching the activity of the mind, body and emotions. If you loose your ‘witness consciousness’ perspective, then you can engage the focus again. Even a moment of stillness between the thoughts is enough to change your perception of life and begin the journey to watching the mind and beyond.
Meditation is a powerful tool
Meditation is a powerful way to reduce your stress and become more aware of yourself and the world around you. You get to know yourself and re-integrate all the parts of yourself that you have pushed away. Making friends with those parts, is a component of self love. When you make friends with them, they integrate back into you and no longer sabotage your success.
Experiment with an object of focus that you feel drawn to and that makes meditation easy without creating a battle with your own mind. Let the mind become the entertaining focus of your meditation.
Everyone is unique
What works for one person, doesn’t work for everybody. So discover what works for you and let that be your guide. If you are visual, you may want to watch a candle or create an inner image to focus on. If you are auditory, you might do best saying an affirmative statement or a mantra or listen to some music. If you are kinesthetic, you may want to try watching the breath, feeling the breath move in and out of your body at the nostril or in the rise and fall of the belly with the breath.
Allowing meditation to progress naturally is the way to find inner peace.
Meditation is about letting go of goals and being present in the moment. To become goal oriented about meditation defeats the purpose . . . unless of course, you can watch your mind trying to goal set and be amazed and amused at it’s tenacity. Yet, even that is a goal. See how tricky the mind is.
One of the greatest comments I ever heard about meditation:
“Some days my meditation is like a refreshing, cooling drink on a hot day. Other days, I feel like I am locked in a very small room with a crazy person.”
Yep. That’s the mind . . . the ‘crazy’ person. As you detach from the mind as you sit, that detachment will creep into all areas of your life. That allows you to be present in life without reacting (or at least not acting on your reactions) and make clear decisions from a place of love while remaining grounded and centered.
This week, set aside 10 minutes a day to set and do nothing with your eyes either open or closed. Choose a focus if you like or simply watch the wall in front of you. At the end of the 10 minutes go about your day. Be aware of what you notice during the ‘meditation’ or in your life. Let me know how it goes.
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