As you read in my last post, I am inspiring meditators to be more precise in their practice of meditation. I want to help remedy the failure rate of meditators who are not gaining freedom from fear and doubt.
Who are these meditators? Folks like you and I, who are seeking sustainable happiness. Those making a sincere effort to use meditation as a tool for happiness and yet, are mainly met with utter disappointment. This lineage of failure must come to an end.
Meditators are also unique in the sense that they realize that their only sources of suffering are their thoughts and feelings. I once called a friend to tell him of a major challenge going on in my life. I prefaced my statement saying, “I think I am in a perceived crisis,” to which he laughed and said, “a ‘perceived crisis’ is the only type of crisis that exists. For it is all about perception…your perception.” Ugh. Touche! I hear Shakespeare giggling in the background muttering something about ‘nothing is right or wrong, only thinking makes it so.’ Meditators understand this.
Before we define what the ‘practice of meditation’ really means, we must first know and experience two things: the nature of the mind and the power of the breath.
Having 30+ years of experience in guiding and counseling spiritual seekers, there are always two big life-changing breakthroughs:
1.) realizing that the nature of the mind is to roam, rove and revolve
2.) when you join the mind and breath together as they flow through the body, you gain instant freedom from the mind’s habit of roaming aimlessly day and night.
It is very hard to catch hold of the mind and very easy to catch hold of your breath. Catch the breath, give it some directions and instantly the mind will follow along.
What if it really was ‘that easy’? What if it was that easy to drastically diminish your stress and regain your self-confidence? It is.
If you pay conscious awareness to the flow of your breath automatically your mind will be clear and calm. The mind will lose interest in associating itself with the fantasies and distractions, even memories are lessen their grip as you practice breath awareness. Soon you will see that even the charms and temptations of the world that use to dominate your awareness will start to lose their power to distract you.
When all this tossing and turning of memories, desires and inner judgment comes to a halt by simply breathing in a precise manner, we start to feel a calm peacefulness that has eluded us for years. Our vitality returns and our despairing fatigue recedes as the breath flows smoothly and slowly through our nostrils, in a gentle lengthening pattern of diaphragmatic breathing. The breath leads the mind inward to its true home of clarity and calm. The world becomes a friendly place again.
Without a doubt, meditation is the most time tested and proven method for stress management. It will help you achieve a clear, calm and tranquil mind. Finally, we are ready to define and explore the ‘practice of meditation’ — in my next post.