Meditation is a key practice that reveals a better understanding of our mind’s eye view of reality. Its practice also enhances our emotional well being, by enabling our view of the world to be more precise and to be more confident about what we believe is happening every moment. With practice, confusion is ultimately diminished, as it gives way to the clear thinking that meditation tends to promote. There are two basic forms of mediation. The first step, a practice that requires a great deal of effort to master, is described as resting the mind. The second is contemplation of the philosophical and psychological teachings, which are more assertive and outwardly, these are slowly absorbed, while the mind is at rest.
Resting the mind meditation is essential and precedes the capacity to contemplate. Meditation is primarily about training the mind so that we can experience our lives with a greater sense of mental clarity. This practice can protect ourselves from mental sufferings, such as worry, confusion, and uncertainty. Following resting the mind practice, the contemplation types of meditation (i.e. Chakra meditation) can also be developed in conjunction with the primary (resting) meditation. However, the contemplation meditation really needs the practitioner to have already established a regular habit, one that includes resting the mind practice and establishing it wholeheartedly in their daily life. The primary meditation practice of any novice must be resting the mind. Without some progress with this style of meditation (resting), there can be very little progress made with the other expansive styles of meditation.
The reason for this is, that the untrained mind is often preoccupied with attaining a favorable meditation experience. The pursuit of a satisfactory experience causes us to miss the benefits of a calm mind. To experience the calmer levels of mind more consistently and more often, we need to train ourselves to see our thoughts arising before they are manifested. For example, If we can feel anger, or a strong belief arising in ourselves, just before it manifests into an impulsive reaction, only then, we have begun to develop an opportunity to transform these hidden tendencies, into holistic outcomes.
This kind of mind transformation is not possible with a normal reactionary busy mind. The one way to deal with the busy mind is through resting it through meditation. Resting the mind meditation, trains the mind to focus on the source of our thoughts, rather than manipulating or controlling our thoughts. Our manipulating of thoughts is not something we notice that well. It is usually driven by our desire for satisfaction or, our sense of innate righteousness. If our intention is to become a more compassionate person, then we need to focus more on the source of our thoughts, rather than where they are taking us. With this practice, we can develop a new and compassionate style of thinking and it is simply about having the skill to catch the source of what we are thinking in real-time. To simply be, with ourselves.
Basically, resting the mind means to just sit and wait until the mind moves (thoughts arise). When the mind moves from the meditation technique into anything else, this is the point we are waiting to notice, the movement. At this point, we lose concentration and the mind starts thinking about all sorts of things. What we do next is to remember to go back to the practice, noticing the breath, sitting in meditation. Concentrate on the feeling of our breath through the nostrils until we lose it again. Then, we start again, over and over again. Just do it for short periods at first then extend the practice as you wish. Our mind at first finds this practice extremely boring and wants something more entertaining to think about, hence the movement to more entertaining thoughts. After years of practice, a side effect of resting the mind meditation practice is that it becomes increasingly difficult to become bored and tired with things, no more feeling that we are tolerating things we can’t control. A kind of peacefulness ensues.
Let’s embark on the journey to a restful mind.