Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meditating ‘Cold Turkey’

With regards to meditation it is better to get in to good habits as soon as possible, and one of the main good habits that we are trying to develop right from the outset of our meditation practice is discipline and focus. This means that once we have sat down on our meditation seat we are entirely focused on the job at hand and do not allow our mind to be knocked off course by distractions, no matter how much they may be nagging us. To this end it can sometimes be better to focus on the quality of our meditation practice rather than the quantity. Five minutes of really focused and applied meditation is worth more than twenty minutes where our application is somewhat half hearted, and our mind spends 90% of the time distracted!

To this end here is a five minute meditation where we practice stopping our thoughts ‘Cold Turkey’:

Sit comfortably with a naturally straight back, have a watch or other timing device handy.
Take a few deep breaths, centre yourself, then imagine that the past and future dissolve away, only the present remains.
Be aware of the inner voice in your mind that is talking pretty much all of the time in our waking life, take about 1 minute to watch it and listen to it, ensuring that you do not get identified with it.
Using your watch or countdown timer, now begin a period of five minutes where you are 100% focused, and your only task is to let go of your thoughts and stop thinking. Imagine that the thoughts and images in your mind are like a TV, as soon as a thought or an image appears, inwardly press the ‘off’ button on your inner remote control, and let go of the thought, return your mind to zero, no thought.
For the five minutes that you have given yourself, apply yourself to this task with total commitment. No ifs and no buts, your only job is to keep alert, be fully present and stop thinking. You are not asking yourself to be perfect, but you are committing yourself to really applying yourself for this short time to do the very best you can. Initially you may get knocked off track a few times, but if you do it regularly with real application, you will find that your ability will improve substantially in a short period.
Once the five minutes is up, spend a final minute relaxing and observe the space that you have created in your mind through your efforts. When you bring the meditation to a close, be sure to congratulate yourself, for that short time you can say with your hand on your heart that you gave it your all!

As well as creating good meditation habits, this form of ‘power meditation’ also trains our mind to focus quickly on the tasks immediately at hand in our life. This in turn helps us to achieve the goals that we have set ourself, save time and get more out of the opportunities that we have in each day.

No comments: