Monday, January 09, 2012

Meditation Lesson 2: the truth is in the breach

The Buddhists call it "Monkey Mind," the propensity of the mind to swing and chatter from thought to thought, worry to doubt to fear.  From Maria Nemeth (author of Mastering Life's Energies) I learned that in many ways this is not just our brain behaving like a monkey but our brain behaving like the monkey part of our brain.  Part of what keeps us safe and successful as a species is our ability to constantly focus on what might be about to kill us.

So it's no wonder that when I sit down to meditate, my brain goes bonkers.  Over the years of meditating every day (15 minutes to an hour depending on my routine), I've learned that the most important moment in meditation is not the part where I'm actually still and concentrating on my breath.  The most important powerful moment is when I catch myself somewhere else and bring myself back.  This is really what I most want meditation to help with during my busy day.  Through meditation I am strengthening the muscle in me that is able to make me sufficiently aware to catch myself when I am about to say or do something crazy and to breath and stop and get present.

As Eckart Tolle teaches, most of the time there isn't a saber tooth tiger about to attack me.  Most of the time I am completely safe.  With meditation, I have the option of not listening to Monkey Mind.  I can say, as Maria Nemeth taught me to, "thank you for sharing, nevertheless" and come back to reality.

No comments: