Finding it difficult to meditate?
Meditation, the promise of inner peace and lasting bliss…So true but how many of us have actually experienced it?
We know how to look after our physical bodies. But most of us don’t really understand the mind or have control over our thoughts. We have experienced the mind body connection first hand so we know it’s there, but to most of us the mind remains shrouded in mystery.
I think it is partly because the information out there on the mind is rather complicated and confusing. Perhaps it’s also because we can go almost a whole lifetime without anyone really knowing what is going on in our heads. Nobody can see your thoughts like they can see your clothes or your abs, so we give it less importance.
It’s easier to ignore that which we don’t understand. That’s what we do with our minds. We ignore. We ignore until thoughts arise and overwhelm us with; heaviness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, worry, fear, jealousy, anger, sadness etc. We are then forced to look at them briefly and fix what we can temporarily. We notice when we take a look that our thoughts seem to have a mind of their own and any attempt to silence them or alter their course is hopeless. We therefore just accept and either take medications to subdue ourselves or we accept levels of discomfort as a suurender. We rarely go deeper because we don’t have the tools to understand and organize.
We allow ourselves to be controlled by our minds which are quite turbulent by nature.
Swami Vivekenanda compared the mind to a maddened monkey;
“There was a monkey, restless by its nature, as all monkeys are. As if that was not enough someone made him drink freely of wine, so that he became more restless. Then a scorpion stung him…”
In Yoga philosophy, Vedanta offers us wonderful clear explanations of the inner workings of mind. It gives us a map and separates the mind into four clear functions. Teaches us how to work gently and successfully with mind so that we can slowly gain control over the types of thoughts that we want to have in our headspace.
Yoga offers many techniques of meditation and depending on your personality type there is a special one which would be most helpful for you.
Meditation basically means to focus on only one object for a prolonged period of time. This is done in order to allow thoughts which lie in their latent phase of the unconscious mind to drift to the surface where they can be let go and attenuated. Over time this clearing and focusing provides stability and allows us to sense the silence which lies beyond the chatter of the mind. This silence which is a thought free state. Doing this allows you to exist more in the present moment and relate to things as they are without them being colored by the storage of impressions which may no longer be valid. It allows you to clear old thought patterns which may be playing an unwanted role in your daily life.
To experience yourself as this thought free awareness is very refreshing. Meditation allows you to reemerge into the thought state from a new, more expanded vantage point. One where you are not your thoughts but you are the witness to your thoughts. The ramifications of this new awareness gives way to more love and compassion.
“Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodah”
yoga is the cessation of the mental fluctuations
-The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
This means that the ultimate unity we can experience, the experience of the Self as being part of the Whole, can only be experienced if we can transcend the fluctuations of thought. The mind can be seen like a lake. When it is clouded with incessant chatter of the mind, we cannot see the bottom. But when it becomes calm, we can see the bottom and therefore see our true nature.
Meditation is not something you can “do”. It is a state you experience. The state of your true self undisturbed by the fluctuations of the mind and the endless need to satisfy our desires.
It can be really hard to make the necessary yet enormous shift from the outside world to the world within us.It can be difficult to learn focus. But it is possible and worth it.
To help you experience meditation, I would like to offer you this short audio, The Art of Centering. It can be used on its own or as a beginning to our other audios or silent meditations. It will bring you to a state where it will be easier for you to flow into silence.
Yoga Nidra is a wonderful way to enter into a state similar to meditation:
I hope you enjoy it. It was made with love and wishes of peace.