Thoughts and Meditation

Couple of months back I earnestly started meditating again in the morning. I have tried this couple of times in my life and the longest stretch lasted for about 3-4 months.  I was at a stage in life where almost everything was set in my life. However, there were issues and desires that troubled me, but most of it revolved around worrying about the past and being anxious about the future. So after a while of wading through the waters and trying to battle the currents through the workings of my rationalized my mind, the time seemed to have come for a reset.

One of the things that a lot of masters say about meditation is to make it into a near daily practice, i.e. decide a time and place that works for you and stick to it come what may. Since mornings are advisable and fit in the schedule better, it seemed natural to start with sitting a few minutes to an hour depending on whatever is possible. Although it wasn’t very difficult to sit in one place and try to concentrate, but the constant stream of thoughts were ever-present. For this the yoga meditation techniques of Swami Rama and his teaching around the understanding of the mind and its modifications really helped and resonated with me.  As advised by the masters choosing a mantra was important and I have used Ek Onkar, Satnam Vaheguru or just Vaheguru interchangeably, while coordinating it with the inhalation and exhalation of the breath.

Eventually little by little the gaps between the train of thoughts started to increase. It is as if looking at a river that is full of sail boats during high wind. As the whirlwind of the mind is reduced through the calmness in breath the number of thought boats  in the mind started to reduce. Please don’t get discouraged if this doesn’t start to happen right away, it takes time and each person is different from the other so no comparisons are needed, just resolve to stick to it. Another thing that really helps me is that during the course of the day when I notice the mind pulling into different directions of unhelpful thoughts, I pause for a second, take a deep breath (no I don’t close my eyes in public :))  and repeat the mantra couple of times.  One seems to take bigger strides in daily practice if during the course of the regular life situations faced daily, the actions performed, words spoken and thoughts pursued are aligned and helpful and conducive to bring about the calmness.

I would love to hear about your experiences and comments.  A small poem:

The Bubbles

As he was sleeping everyday
floating in a million bubbles
came the Wind and said in a whisper
why not float above your troubles

Then he started to wake up
the bubbles were too many to bear
why won’t the Wind just blow them away

Then one day the Wind said to him
why worry about all these bubbles
here is a shiny skateboard my friend
why not ride them away

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