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Monday, July 9, 2012


For everybody who meditates, there are practically that many was to meditate - millions.  Not staying with the practice or simply failing to meditate often, however, are two factors that contribute to one's failure.  Listening to the mind at work is often a tedious and monotonous task for most beginners.  But once the practice matures, quietness settles in and awareness broadens until it evaporates all restrictions.

Meditation does not need to be done for long hours.  Fifteen minutes is often sufficient, thirty minutes is better and an hour is excellent for a good sitting of quietness with the mind.  In order for you to be able to control the mind and not the other way around, the mind must be still, and this can be achieved only through daily practice of watching the mind at work.

The mind wants to constantly be figuring things out.  It might be saying, "Why are you sitting here when you could be mowing the grass or doing the dishes?"  or "Oh, I just remembered, this would be a good time to call uncle Bill.  He is probably home right now."  The mind also likes to problem solve.  While meditating, the mind might be deciding how to arrange the new furniture that's coming tomorrow or trying to figure out where you might have left the key to the front door.  The mind also loves to think about past and future experiences, anything to keep from focusing on the present moment.

I urge you to set aside a few minutes each day to listen to your mind.  Just let the mind ramble on and imagine that you are viewing it from a distance and simply enjoy its amusing antics.  Be an observer of your mind.  Get in touch with what your mind is doing.  Don't make it difficult, just subtlety notice where your thoughts are going and relax and enjoy the process.  After a while the mind will become tired of its ramblings and begin to settle down and will actually want to rest. 

Even when the mind begins to settle down, it will flare up from time to time with its silly thoughts of doing this and that and wondering about all kinds of things to keep you from sitting still.  Be patient with yourself and with your mind.  The "monkey mind" will eventually give in to quietness.  "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all" Timothy 4:15.

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