Training the Mind to Meditate
Silent meditation is one path to explore when seeking to cultivate a neutral mind. To become still, we must first learn how to become present. Present moment awareness comes in many forms, most of which are quite accessible to everyone, every day. Think of the simple things that we do as we go through the motions of our daily routine. These are all opportunities to train the mind.
You are here.
In order to embrace silence and stillness for long periods of time without falling asleep, we must first achieve a high level of concentration. When sitting is uncomfortable or not possible, keep in mind that there are many ways that we can be mindful without actually meditating.
Walk for the joy of walking and be fully present in this joy.
Basic guidelines for meditation require that it be done every day, at the same time of day, for the same length of time each day. This means that we can choose to dedicate five minutes every morning to brushing our teeth without allowing the mind to wander. Or we can commit 15 minutes of focus solely on cooking without thinking about other things. Keeping it simple is key.
Let the next breath that you take refresh your mind with vibrant awareness.
Annoying distractions will inevitably occur to pull us away from our focus. As soon as we make the choice to refocus our awareness, we can rejoice knowing that we are on the right path. Having the ability to gently redirect the mind is essential to meditation. Once we can do this, then we can attempt to sit in sweet stillness and just be.
Be curious and create.
In all actuality, all of us are meditating on something every day. Notice what you think about and consciously choose to shift the topic if it doesn’t feel sweet and simple. For example, every day we hear various noises and sounds. If we dedicate 15 minutes to listening to one sound, that would be considered meditating. If we dedicate 15 minutes to thinking, speaking or gazing at something, we would be meditating. Combining structure with creativity is the final step toward cultivating a personal mediation. It isn’t a one-size fits all practice. Anything that draws you inward will lead you in the right direction.
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