What is meditation: a word that symbolizes different aspects of a concept. To meditate means to focus, whether it be focusing on a symbol, a word, a visual image or images, a phrase, or something as simple as your very breath.
Why meditate: To be; To remain present; To Consider; To Observe; To Separate; For Balance
When you meditate you the (I) are focusing on one thing meanwhile all of your thoughts, concerns and feelings are happening in the background. Once you begin this practice you will notice the separation from the (I) or self from thought and feeling. These thoughts and feelings have an energy all on their own. Separating yourself from thoughts and feelings allows you to observe and consider what’s important.
When you begin you will notice what is sometimes referred to as “monkey mind” Taking the time to become still is like standing up on a podium in front of a crowd asking for questions. Every person/thought in the room will want your attention and will start to shout and raise their hand. This is a normal and necessary part of the process. This allows you to take notice of what you mind tends to race towards or what feelings come up without judgement or expectation.
The most important thing to remember is that this is a practice and is called such because you will always be practicing. It is a daily endeavor with no goal other than growth and self improvement. Silence can happen on occasion but should not be expected or considered the finish line. On this journey you will encounter moments of bliss and of boredom. Your mind will race and you will feel like you accomplished absolutely nothing. Yet, every moment you set aside time in attempt to remain in the present; will be rewarded with a conditioning of the mind to do so more often. It is not total elimination of thought we seek but separation from overpowering thought emotion.
Meditation is like taking a shower. It’s a cleansing of mind/spirit/body connection. It allows you to clear out negative thought emotion (body odor), It’s an opportunity to evaluate what needs attention so it can be released (shaving) and it allows you to renew with positive energy (lavender soap.)
Thought emotion is often associated with Waves in the ocean, they flow in and out with no more significance than that of it’s natural state. Its purpose merely being that of flow and nothing more. Another metaphor significant to me and my process, is the connection of thought emotion and a breeze. The wind simply blows, flowing in and out, some breezes are light and airy while others blow with a force so hard it cannot be ignored.
The following are steps important to any meditation practice: First, we observe the thought. Next, we accept the thought. Then let go of the thought (Meaning don’t get involved with the thought. Simply observe it), Lastly, follow up with non-judgment. Don’t judge the thought or even the fact that you had the thought. Accept and Dismiss it.
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Thoughts and feelings are only suggestions; Choose what to hold onto.