How do we even begin to tame our busy inner dialogue?
This monkey mind can be full on and relentless at times. It has the capacity to be our friend or our foe…
Now more than ever many of us are experiencing greater levels of stress and anxiety.
As stress rises we can unknowingly engage in activities to mask those feelings of our own busy-ness.
They become part of how we live and start to feel so much a part of our “normal” that we are often unable to see the long term consequences that these behaviours have on our lives.
How do we learn to recognise and start to let go of those things that we use to numb, distract, avoid, reject or justify what’s happening in our head?
How do we learn to tame our busy inner dialogue?
Where do we begin the process of change to create that much needed space in our mind’s restlessness?
Meditative practices are positive interventions that begin to create quiet spaces within the mind that allows clarity to surface in the spaces of our busy-ness.
How do we start?
Before we do maybe we can ask our self these questions…
Why do we want to commit to meditative practices?What is the purpose of taking up such a discipline? What is the goal of our practice?
Before we go further here is something to ponder….
“Is meditation a practice or a process?”
Where do we start?
We begin where we are at.
And from that place we learn the art of reigning in our senses.
It is our senses that draw us out and often we unconsciously allow them to run rampant and unbridled. Those senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing & sound have aided in the formation of our traits and sense of who we are.
Just as the analogy of galloping horses depicts the effect that our senses can have on us and the reins that may be used to steady them in their wildness as the mind, we can begin to engage the strength of the mind to focus our attention.
We start by choosing an object to bring our awareness to and then harness the senses to commit to that object.
Often there is still lots going on in our mind. Those things of “need to”, “should do”, “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done”, “if only’s”, “buts and why’s”…..Life is full of them, yet by continually bringing our mind back to the object of our choice things will begin to change…
It is the start of building the muscle of the mind.
Continued Commitment to the process
By continually bringing our mind back to observe the object of our choice all that “stuff” that is continually vying for our attention begins to loose its magnetism and things begin to change…
Active participation is needed.
Śraddha in the process; that aspect of faith that is unshakable, helps facilitate change to happen
We also require an understanding of why we want to do this, what the purpose is and then we can determine what the object of our attention is that will move us towards a desired outcome.
It is a process of moving towards a goal that is right for us.
As we keep returning our attention back to the object of our meditation we create a connection.
Within the process this connection is strengthened and begins to transform the busy-ness into something else.
When we put in right effort over a sustained period of time and have the courage to stick with it we are able to grow our understanding of our self and the world around us.
There is no one right path for the masses just the one that is right for you..
Connection over a sustained period of time.
It is simply unbroken connection
Just you and the object of your meditation is your total focus.
At full attention… “atha”
Ready and open to receive the qualities of your chosen object of your meditation.
Here all other distractions of the mind have no more influence over your thought processes or your engagement with them. Here a space grows that allows you to really know and see, feel, hear, taste, smell your object more clearly. Here is where clarity resides and we begin to understand
This process doesn’t “need” to be focused in religion, people, objects of gain or attainment, or even enlightenment. It’s a process where we come to understand ourself better, so we can live fully in this world with compassion and grace and grow our understanding of the other and the world around us. A process that takes us from the seeing, doing, being in the world and into to a heart to heart connection that is real and honest.
There is no separation
Have you ever had that experience…. Where you are totally absorbed in something?
Maybe watching a sunset or sunrise, or looking deep into a baby’s eyes as they return your gaze….both of you transfixed in each other’s being in that moment… A place where something in the heart expands and there is nothing else present but you and what you are engaged with.
It can be that place where joy comes up; a place that is hard to describe
It can also be a place where instant clarity presents itself; where instantaneously things are seen that hadn’t been seen before. Where a “problem” is suddenly seen from a different perspective, from the perspective of “the other”.
It can a beautiful place where compassion grows for another or your self and brings with it a powerful understanding.
For me, in my world the process of meditation is an unfolding thing.
It has been a process of discovery, and where I have learnt that each time I sit or take time to be totally present to something each experience is just that; an experience.
An experience that shines a light on another way to be in this world.
Profound experiences don’t need to be had for this process to be of benefit. If our aim is to have a quieter mind, or to find clarity around something or to simply connect more deeply with nature and we get that through meditative practice then we are the winners….
Our aim is to live in this world, tread lightly as we go and to grow understanding of our self and others and the world around us.
To cook a meal without distraction and to bring heart and soul into that process, with the outcome of a love filled dish we have completed that process of a meditative practice and achieved our goal.
For me this is a living meditative practice.