(Through meditation) we learn to see how the mind works: its habits of reaction, running away from the painful, chasing after the pleasurable, and becoming bored, irritated or restless with the neutral. By recognizing those habits and knowing them fully through the capacity of focus, we learn how not to be drawn into the compulsive cycles that come with them” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Many people think that meditation is the absence of thoughts. I’m no guru, so I don’t know what the absence of thoughts would look like. In my opinion, it starts with creating an awareness over your current inner dialogue. And then once there is an awareness, you can start to slow down (or at least direct) the monkey-mind that jumps from one idea to the next.
I have attended two yoga teacher trainings that had us practicing silence for extended periods of time. That meant no talking and no gesturing with body language (no smiling, no waving, no eye contact).
I Immediately noticed that while everything was incredibly quiet externally, it was incredibly loud internally.
Over the course of the trainings, I did notice it get a little quieter in my mind. But I still find that I jump from one thing to the next in my head. I have a hard time staying in the moment and not thinking about things I need to do, or things that I have already done.
Meditation isn’t about perfect, it’s about practice.
So, when people say, “oh I could never sit there and think about nothing”. Well, that’s quite alright. a) That’s not really the point. and b) It’s called a practice for a reason.
We practice to hone our ability to focus on one thing (for me, it’s my breath, or sometimes, I’ll have a mantra). It’s about sharpening your sword – getting your mind to work for you, not the opposite.
The mind can be your greatest tool, but first you need to be able to control it.
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