Focus on Meditation,Taming the Monkey Mind

This is week 5 of a progressive blog. Join us each week as we create our meditation practice.
          When you are constantly busy with thoughts that never end this is know as Monkey Mind. The good news is those of us with this Monkey Mind have a strong Conscious Mind.  The bad news is most of us with this tendency are disconnected from our spiritual side on some level.

          Remember we spoke previously about thoughts being in the past?  If you are constantly having thoughts then you are unable to achieve the stillness necessary for your spiritual connection to your soul.    In my past I had a thousand thoughts in my head all the time.  In fact I use to play spider solitaire for hours at a very very rapid pace to give my mind a place to relax and a distraction from my thoughts.
           When I started meditating it challenged my monkey mind in a way I didn’t understand.  I was told that in meditation you are NOT suppose to have thoughts.  This was absolutely impossible for me!  In my frustration I went looking for answers…how does one quiet their mind to the point that there are no thoughts?  My friend Christian told me, “you can’t get rid of your thoughts.  Just don’t pay attention to them.”  Oh!  This was great news to me.  From there I created ways to reduce the distractions of my thoughts, in fact I began to see that if I reduced all outside distractions that meditation was easier for me.          

          I knew I had arrived at truly being in a meditative state when the cat that kept showing up in my minds eye did something different.  Instead of walking up and turning to the side and running a way with his tail in the air, very predictable behavior supported by my conscious mind, the cat stood on his hind legs, lit a cigar, and started smoking, something I wouldn’t have ever imagined!  The most important thing to realize here is that even when this happened I was not consciously aware of it until the end of my meditation because it takes conscious thought to be aware! 
          Once you have eliminated your attachment to conscious thoughts and can allow your subconscious to simply observe without thought you can begin again to receive the information that your spirit is gathering for you from your soul. 
        Here are a few ways to help relax the conscious mind so you can achieve a Meditative State:

·        Set an alarm for the length of time you are trying to meditate.  If you don’t have to think if time is up you will have one less conscious thought to avoid.  This was a must for me.


·        Reduce outside stimulation such as noise and light.  I wore ear plugs and a sleep mask.


·        Position your body in a relaxed comfortable manner.  I laid in bed, arms supported by pillows.


·        Have pen and paper near by.  If I thought about what was I going to make for dinner I wrote “dinner” or that the water bill was over due I wrote “water bill” without even looking.  Knowing I didn’t have to remember these thoughts that popped into my head kept them from coming back,  I was able to release the thought and the rest of the thoughts that supported it.


·        As a thought occurs do not allow questioning.  Questioning leads from one thought to the next.  Don’t worry you will not forget the information your meditation brings you if you write it down immediately following your meditation.  Information received during meditation comes through much like a dream does.  Once you awake from a dream you have a limited amount of time to use focused thought to remember your dream and recall the details.  The same is true for meditative information.


Remember, you are building a foundation.  You should not be hard or critical with yourself during this process.


Questions and Answers:


What is this weeks practice?  Practice Progressive Relaxation Diaphragmatic Breath while reducing the distractions of your conscious mind 1-5 minutes three times a day (or 5 minutes twice a day).


How will I know if my conscious mind is in control of my thoughts?  If you are predicting what will happen next and it does you are in control with your conscious mind.  If you see an image and name that image you are using conscious mind.  Names/labels are thoughts from your memory that can only be accessed by the conscious mind.


How can I get more out of my meditation?  Don’t rush it.  There will be times in the near future that you will receive some deep personal insight from your meditation that changes your life.  Right now, you are setting the foundation that will make this possible. 


Why am I still having trouble with my meditative foundation?   Next week you will cover the reasons and solutions to the most common meditative issues like falling asleep, being bored, not seeing the point. 


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