Friday, February 21, 2014

Brushing the mind, opening the heart

The Mind: a beautiful servant, a dangerous master.

A fortuitous bouncing of light and shadows - a fluke photo.. or is it?

I've been on the longest unbroken stretch of meditation in my whole life.  It's been 50 days in a row with a minimum of 20 minutes of sit time per day.  Of late I have been more then happy to do almost an hour at a time.  I won't lie - doing twenty minutes 50 days ago was a challenge.  I was counting the seconds until my chimer went.  Lately, instead of relief, when my time is up, I keep sitting for a few more minutes, just because.  I am disappointed when I have to stop (yes, I am working on that too).

I've committed to making meditation a daily practice in my life since the middle of December.  They say something becomes habit after about 55 days, give or take.  Like brushing my teeth, meditation is becoming habit.  Like brushing my teeth, every meditation is different.  If I have a kernel in my teeth, I might spend a bit of extra time brushing one area, paradoxically an entrenched emotion in my psyche might need an extra bit of attention to dislodge. 

Am I the dalai fucking lama?  Not even close.  Most of my meditation involves me observing how my inner monologue is that of a kid who just drank a full can of coke and ate an extra helping of birthday cake: bat shit crazy.

Meditation is not fun. It is not easy.

Frustration: yes.
Discomfort: check.
Constant annoyance at the nature of one's own mind: oh hells yes.

I can only talk directly from my own experience although there are NUMEROUS studies that support how beneficail the practice of meditation is on the human brain.  Andy Puddicombe explains below:

For those who think meditation is only for the monks of the world, you couldn't be more far off.  If anything it is the rest of the world outside of the monks who can really benefit from taking time everyday to quell the mind. 

I learned something a few years ago that has been incorporated into my belief system - WE ARE NOT OUR THOUGHTS.  Just because we think it doesn't mean we should own it.  Thoughts I liken to seeds of plants and weeds that have blown into the garden of our mind.  They've been dropped there from parents, friends, society, and god knows where else.  Well, these thought-seeds take more root and grow deeper the more we place our attention on them.  So if we focus on the negative seedlings by repeatedly "going there" that will be the dominant climate of our mind.  Learn to let thoughts and emotions go.  Laugh.

The whole point of meditation is to see thoughts for what they are, and like all things they go through the passage of arising and dissapation.  When we meditate we see thoughts, don't attach energy (emotion) and let them seeds blow on by.  It is hard, but with practice we start to cultivate a sense of laughter about thoughts and see them for what they are, nothing.  Do you get mad at the wind when blows, can you do anything about it?

After 50 days, there is a profound change happening.  My heart is opening, I just have more love for life, and for humanity.  With this opening new experiences are coming into my sphere, new people and new circumstances.  I also feel that my capacity to give is growing, and I feel more like I want to serve those around me then more then myself - this is a huge shift for selfish little me.

I strongly reccomend you cultivate the practice of meditation in your daily life.  We make time for so many other things (how many minutes do most first-worlders spend on their phones and computers?) and just try your best.   There are no meditation competitions, at least not yet.

There is no right or wrong way, sitting and being aware of your crazy mind is a great, albeit frustrating first step.  Of all the practices I've incorporated, meditation has brought the most peace, and by changing how I interact with my inner-world, I've changed how I respond to my outer-world.

If you want to get into it and just jump in the pool like I did without checking the water, I recommend this free (yes I said free) 10 day retreat.  It will change your life.

The best things in life truly are free - and I continue to donate to this cause monthly so that others can gain the benefits I have. 

Make a space in your day for this powerful practice, and you will see your life change.

Love and Light - Robin

1 comment: