Clearing the Clutter with Meditation

October 31, 2014

 

 

Halloween is an optimal time to release the ghosts and goblins of the mind. Most of the time, our minds are preoccupied with past incidents; this dwelling causes our minds to be congested and scattered. Clear thinking is lost in this pollution of “mindchatter.” Buddhists like to call this state of mind, the “monkey
mind,” as it refers to a mind that is unsettled, restless, confused, and uncontrollable.

 

Have you ever allowed your trash at home to sit for too long? What happens? The trash begins to spoil and a disgusting smell fills the house unless you empty the trash bin.

 

The old thoughts are like the trash waiting to be taken out. If you do not clear them, they begin to fill your mind with toxic thoughts, and the next thing you know you are living with “mind-chatter” instead of living in the moment. You begin to lose touch with your true self because you’ve become consumed with dwelling on past experiences. Often, this produces fearful thoughts of the future and again you lose touch with what is important in the present moment.

With a cluttered mind, a person experiences thoughts as occurring automatically, beyond their control. With training, you can learn to clear and focus the mind. With a trained mind you can find clarity in the present moment and begin to connect with the wisdom within you.


Learning to meditate is a great way to train your mind. It has been said, before you meditate, that you are your thoughts. Only with meditation can you separate yourself from your thoughts, and consciously observe and experience them. With a trained, observant mind, solutions to problems are much easier to see.
There are many different forms of meditation. Only you will know which form is best for you. I have found, for an individual learning to meditate for the first time, it is easiest to start with a focused style of meditation, which is what I will share with you today.


Now, let’s all meditate for a few minutes.
To begin, find a quiet place to practice your meditation—somewhere you will not be disturbed — and bring a timer with you. I like to play soft ocean waves in the background, which is not a requirement but nice to have. You can sit on the floor or in a chair; what is important is that you are sitting comfortably with a straight spine. If you are new to meditation, I highly recommend taking baby steps in the beginning by timing the meditation for short intervals. With that said let’s start with just 3 minutes for today. Set your timer now. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breath. In last week’s article, we talked about simple, natural breathing, a practice you want to incorporate in your meditation. As you inhale, your navel should extend out to receive the breath and, as you exhale, the navel should move in and up to release the breath. Notice the rise and fall of your navel. Now, let’s add another step to the sequence: as you inhale, silently say to yourself, “letting.” As you exhale, silently say to yourself “go.”

 

While inhaling say “letting…”

While exhaling say “go…”

While inhaling say “letting…”

While exhaling say “go…”

“Letting… go…”

“Letting… go…”

 

Stay focused on the rise and fall of the navel as you let go and give
into the meditation. If the mind begins to wander, do not worry; simply go
back to saying “letting go” with ever cycle of inhalation and exhalation.
When you hear your timer go off, gently come out of the meditation and
congratulate yourself. See how easy that was; now you can meditate a little
every day. For the best results try and meditate at the same time and place
every day. After a week or two, increase your time by only one minute and
continue increasing the time until you reach your goal time.


I would love to hear about your experiences practicing meditation.
Please send me an email and let me know.

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