Focus on meditation, Release Control


This is week 12 of a progressive blog.  Join us each week as we create our meditation practice  
                 I have a lovely little 20 month old daughter.  Sara is clever, sporty, and extremely independent.  I let her climb across the back of the couch, put things in her mouth, toss rocks in her kiddy pool, really explore her world.  The other day Sara wanted to embrace a barrel cactus that is in our front yard.  Not only did I tell her no, but when she tried to hug it anyway, I raised my voice (yelled) in a very controlling way and stepped in physically to stop her.  Did she like this?  No!  She cried and asked me “Why”.  Why was I not letting her have what she believed she wanted?  Because in this instance Mommy knows best. 
                Similarly in our lives we believe that we want certain things.  That we need to have control over whether we can hug a barrel cactus or not.  Because we believe this way it makes it difficult for us to hear the quiet voice that would lead us in the true direction of self, choosing not to hug the cactus in most instances.   Sometimes it is better to release control of our desires and see the truth of our situation.   
               Why spend time meditating to know what you already know?  When we control our meditation it can not bring us new information, we can only control what we already know.  We are not meditating to hear what we already know, we are meditating to either receive that quiet voice or to remember what we have forgotten.   If we believe this to be true how can we prepare our mind  to release control?   Be open:       
·          Start with the preparation of the soul– open to the idea that somehow somewhere there is a greater guide than your conscious mind that wants you to have this information.
·          Join in later with the guide of spirit – open to the truth about your life.  Release all delusion as it pertains to your relationships, guidance system, manipulation of self, rationalization, and creation of your own self importance.
·          Finally, adjust the conscious mind to accept that the place to be is here.  Being in this space inside of yourself is an important part of the meditative process.  Enjoy the relaxation and understanding that comes from thinking only of this moment and the next.  Not yesterday or tomorrow. 
·          When we take these actions into consideration instead of meditation being a burden we realize what a blessing it is for us and our lives.
               When I started my meditative practice I was looking for a way to change my reality, to leave the stress of life behind, and find answers outside of myself.  I had a focused understanding of how to do this based on my desire for change.  What I didn’t know or expect was I would realize my conscious desires blocked my ability to hear my truth, that quiet voice.  I had to completely release my control over my meditations to truly receive what was for my highest good. 
               With the release of control in mind you can try a few of these simple meditations to keep the conscious mind busy while you open to the quiet voice of your soul.

Primary Monkey Mind Meditation.  suggested time:  5-15 minutes
  Sit or lay in a relaxed position.  Breath in and out comfortably.  Count the breath in as one, out as one.  Count the next breath in as two, out as two.  Continue this until you get to 10 without letting your mind stray from the counting.  You may have thoughts enter, but do not follow them, simply let them fade as you continue to concentrate on counting.  If you notice yourself thinking start over at one.  Some days your mind will be so active that you may not get past one.  Don’t worry, just keep practicing.   The purpose of this meditation is to quiet the mind and bring to the surface the information that a busy mind does not allow for.
Copied from A Return to Self  By Christine Contini
    Mandala Meditation     Adapted from Meditating with Mandalas By David Fontana
As soon as you start meditating with mandals, your mind will attempt to apply labels to what it is seeing.  it will try to tell you the names of the shapes and the colors, to note resemblances between them and other objects, to establish preferences between this shape and that, between that color and this.  Note that this is happening, but do not become distracted by it.  The mandala is already teaching you an important lesson.  It is demonstrating that we have lost the art of pure seeing.  We are so preoccupied with words, labels and concepts that we can no longer see things as they are in themselves.  Bring your mind gently back to the pure art of seeing.  Try to enter fully into the mandala meditation as a visual experience, no more and no less.  The mandala will communicate with you wordlessly.  And because pictures and images long predate language in our evolutionary history, it will communicate with you at a deep, primal level of the unconscious mind.  The mandala’s message has to do with being, not with knowing.  Try not to pass judgment upon the mandala, either as something you like or as something you dislike.  It just is, in the same way that you just are.
  You can choose an actual mandala for this meditation or stare at anything and allow the same process to occur as explained above.  Later we will work with this concept again to allow for the Alpha Association Process which is similar to psychometry.  (If you are ready to practice association now you can find the directions at Association Exercise)
Questions and Answers:
What is this weeks practice?   Continue with your meditation foundation practice.  Expand your practice to include trying some of the Meditations above.
I have gotten good at the counting meditation but I still am not getting any insight.  After you complete your meditation you might try doing some Automatic Writing  or try the Alpha Association Process to kick start your intuition.
When I tried using the Mandala my eyes kept going out of focus.  This is fine as long as it is a relaxed natural occurrence. 
Does it matter if I am consistent with my meditation practice?  Yes.  Discipline and Responsibility are important components of a good meditative practice.  Next week we will cover what it means to have a disciplined and responsible meditation practice. 

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