Meditation and the Mind

Posted by: Rose Tol, R&I Life Coaching, October 3, 2012 in Meditation

calm mind

One of the most challenging things in meditation is our mind, and to have a calm mind. First of all, it is important not to judge our practice in any way—i.e., “that was a good session” or “that was a bad session.” Any meditation session you do is a “good” meditation session. You engaged with yourself and learned more about your current state of being, which leads to further unfoldment. It is important to treat yourself with unconditional acceptance of your experience.This sets the stage for a calm mind.

Secondly, if you find yourself very busy in the mind during meditation—meaning the thinking part of your mind is running wild (opposite of a calm mind)—you can tighten your focus on whatever you are using as your object of meditation. This may be the feeling of the breath moving in and out of your lower belly, or a focus you have for the meditation. By tightening your attention on the focus you have chosen, putting your mind on a “tight leash” so to speak, you will find that the thinking process slowly begins to calm down and becomes more spacious. The more discursive you are, the more you will need to concentrate closely on the meditation object. Once your mind begins to calm down, your attention can become more open, and you will start to follow the pull that is the response to your focus.

Thoughts still arise, of course, but you are no longer spending the entire meditation actively thinking. Instead you are sitting as a field of awareness and moving with your spirit and thoughts will arise along with other energies and sensations. Having thoughts does not mean you can have a calm mind.

It is very beneficial when starting your meditation, for your mind to be as calm and empty as you can have it be. The following technique has proven to be a great help with emptying the mind and preparing yourself for meditation with a calm mind.

A Pre-Meditation Exercise

This is an exercise you can apply before the start of your meditation or at the beginning of your meditation. This exercise assists you to empty your mind and clear yourself from surface feelings so you become clear, calm and open; a great consciousness to start your journey of going within. You can also use this tool whenever you need to empty your mind to calm yourself. It is a great thing to do just before going to sleep.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Have paper, pencil, and a hand towel ready.
  2. Write down anything going on in your mind that’s occurring more than just a passing thought. If you write it down and it still persists, you can try screaming it out of your head and into the towel.
  3. You can scream into the hand towel or twist it tightly to move tension out of your body.
  4. Take notice of all that is going on in your mind. Try not to think about any of it, but if there are things going on in your mind that are distracting you too much, then write down in only a few words what it is. It can be anything from trying to remember where you put your keys to a major confusion about something.
  5. Don’t try to empty everything out; just remove the top layer of disturbances – to clear a path within so you can focus within. If there are any surface emotions connected to the thoughts, then get them out of your body and into the air or into the towel.
  6. If there is anything on your list that was particularly troublesome that you want to be all the way free from, you can hold the list up to God in the palms of your hands as a gesture, to have all of that disturbance burned away. Have some trust and faith that there is a Higher Power that is ever-aware of you. You can just give the upset feeling or thoughts to God, and have some faith that He/She is there to take it and help you in ways that we cannot comprehend.
  7. Then, look over your list and circle the one thing you’d say was the most important to you on that list right now. Take no more than 30 seconds to do that. This is something you can think about calmly if you want to later.
  8. If, after you’re feeling like you want to be done with this pre-meditation purge part, yet you still have something going on that you didn’t feel like you could noticeably release, then you can begin your meditation by moving more of the feelings about whatever it is. (Moving your feelings means screaming, crying, dancing, etc. with the intention of letting go of the feeling.)
calm reflection
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