The Mind is Like a Frisky Monkey
People are often so discouraged about the results of their meditative efforts.
They feel that they are not only not relaxed, but anxious because they couldn't focus at all. Well, to quote one of my favorite teachers, George Curnoles, "Your mind is like a frisky monkey. Don't beat your monkey."
No, that's not an R-rated statement, but a realistic way to look at how your mind works.
Do you find yourself unable to focus on the goal of your meditation, whether it is a candle flame, a sound, a thought, a concept? Then your mind is just acting normally. Our minds and thought processes are so complex, that we can literally hold multi-dimensional focuses at the same time.
When you let yourself relax in your meditation, you mind will often head off in the direction of that latest thought, image, sound, dream or problem you're working on. If you are at an early phase of developing your meditation skills, just let the mind go. Here's the secret: go ahead and follow the thought rather than wrench yourself back with frustration to the original goal.
So, how will you be able to control your thoughts and direct your meditations if you do this? Easy. While you let your mind take those avenues of exploration, just pay attention. Instead of waking up in a few minutes to realize that you are no longer where you wanted to focus, just follow the trail. Then see if you can follow the trail backwards to the point you diverted from your goal. This will develop a strong focused mind and in no time at all, you'll be a successful, focused meditator.
Using this approach, the Basic Meditation Technique can be quickly learned since you'll avoid the frustration of fighting your wandering mind and simply follow it's wanderings, gently bringing the mind back to your intended focus.
Be kind to that little monkey of a mind and it will serve you well.
Chesa Keane has taught meditation and self-help for more than 30 years. To receive your free starter Basic Meditation and Basic Relaxation Techniques and an introduction to a unique meditation tool, the TAO Totem, visit: taototem.com
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