Meditation is Simple
Not being able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction. Oftentimes, we don't recognise this because almost everyone seems to be suffering from an overactive mind. Quieting and focusing the mind is impossible, or so it seems. At first, the beginning meditation practitioner may give up easily and quickly after just a few minutes of trying to empty the mind and focus on one thing. Don't give up, with some basic guidance and understanding, you can be on your way to benefitting from even the simplest meditation practice.
A classical definition of meditation is the act of directing ones awareness towards an object for an extended period of time without interruption. This object or point of attention can be internal or external; a body part, chakra, idea, mantra, sound or simply the breath itself.
Coming back to the point of attention allows us to eventually be free from the mind; not controlled by it’s reactive and nonstop activity.
Meditation is simple. The goal of meditation is to go beyond the mind and experience our true eternal nature. A nice beginner level meditation is to simply observe the breath in a comfortable seated position with good posture for two minutes. Count the breaths you take during this two minute period. Normally, a thought will arise. Attend to the thought for a moment, then return your attention back to the counted breath. Instead of reacting to the sea of arising thoughts, meditation teaches us observe the mind and simply return our attention back to our point of attention. The number of breaths is insignificant. The mono-tasking of attending to our point of attention (the breath) is the key.
Be patient as you begin to expand and develop a regular meditation practice. As your breath becomes slow and even, the mind will begin to quiet. The peace and joy of meditation is almost never felt in the first part of our seated meditation. It is towards the end of the session that usually becomes the most pleasurable. Progress comes from a regular daily practice, even if you begin sitting for short periods of 10-15 minutes. Eventually extend your sessions to 20 - 45 minutes.
Signs of progress arise as you find yourself with greater moment to moment relaxation, less worries and agitation, and an increase of overall contentment. Virtues including intuition, creativity, inspiration and original thoughts all begin to appear as we connect to our deeper or higher nature through meditation. Make some time for yourself and begin experimenting with meditation today.
by Clayton Horton