Unable to restore peace and quiet in the mind?
I hear it all the time, ‘I can’t meditate’ or ‘My brain won’t quit’. I used to say it all the time as well. Our mind is a tool meant to create, destroy, probe, mimic, and generally be active. I have always enjoyed the imagery of your mind being an infant.
Without care, discipline, and nourishment it becomes unfocused, wild, unproductive, and sometimes violent or aggressive. If we keep it fed and acknowledge it, work with it consistently, it calms down. It may seem quieter, more disciplined, and showing signs of growth, but it is still an infant, and infants are prone to random outbursts.
Your mind is a tool, as such to serve you better it will wander off and imagine things that are ghastly, or distinctly not us. That’s fine. You are more than your mind. The infants got a hold of scissors, of course, it made a mess. The idea behind meditation isn’t to make our mind like a silent mausoleum, it is to keep the mind adaptive while not letting waste energy or have the power to hurt us.
Below are some ways to take back the space between your ears. These are guidelines that you may need to tweak to make fit your needs. As long as the ‘highs and lows’ of your thinking begin to even out and ‘tantrums’ become shorter and less frequent, you are on the right path.
1. Focus On Your Breath, Acknowledging What Pops Up
Your focus while meditating should have a singular focal point. I recommend either the rise and fall of your sternum or the feeling of breath inside your nose.
The focal point should have a direct connection to your breath. There are different ways of breathing and counting the breath, but I recommend: in-breath (that’s one), out-breath (that’s two), in-breath (that’s three), and so on. There is no need to count higher than ten. This isn’t a mental exercise.
As formations arise to look at them without judgment, smile, and let them go. At first, they will still hang around yammering, but like an infant, it’ll get bored and wander off. Anytime you loose track of your breath, restart. Anytime you get to ten, restart. Start to divide your attention from your inner voice to your inner being, inner health and other voices to restore peace and quiet in your mind.
2. Bring Intention And Mindfulness Into Your Daily Activities
Throughout your day, whenever you remember, breathe to ten while you work or play. Re-word your intentions, or try to focus on only your breath and the task at hand. Watch yourself react and accept that reaction. Then let it go. If you are having a consistent problem with strong negative formations, like suicidal thoughts, then start to carry a pen with you.
Anytime you experience the reoccurring formation stop: make a notch in a book or on your skin (gently!). While you are making only a notch, examine this feeling. Try to see where it is coming from.
Don’t run from it or push it away. This is only endowing it more unproductive energy. Embrace it for what it is and say some nice stuff to yourself. Say it aloud if you have to. Don’t be put off by how hard and painful it is to say, ‘you’re beautiful’. At the end of the day gather up all your scratches and look at them.
Embrace that you are in pain. Smile and thank yourself for growing and trying to try to love yourself. A couple days of this killed my suicidal thoughts, and they have never returned in the same force.
3. Meditate Regularly And Often
Set a schedule and do your best to meet it. It doesn’t have to be the same time everyday, but it’s easier to plan your day around it if you do. You don’t have to sit under a tree for days either. Like exercise, it is better to do a smaller amount of a period of time, than binge meditate. It is an effective way to restore peace and quiet in your mind.
Watch out this video to know the scientific power of meditation: