What’s Meditation?! Why Meditate?! Peace. Peace. Peace.

Feeling scattered, hurt, overwhelmed, or confused?! Reach for meditation!

Meditation. A life enhancing, healing, and supportive tool that is all the rage. Often people say they can’t meditate. Believing their buzzing mind is a sign of intelligence. The mind will say intelligence makes us superior. If we are superior, we believe we are above the fray and are doing a better job of living than everyone else. And on and on the mind goes constructing thoughts, weaving them into a nonsensical, air tight life experience to feel safe.

Truth be told, the eternally chatty mind isn’t healthy.  It’s monkey mind.  A mind that is fraught with “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable” thoughts. The term “Mind monkey or monkey mind, from Chinese xinyuan and Sino-Japanese shin’en 心猿 [lit. “heart-/mind-monkey”], is a Buddhist term Wikipedia explains.

Modern minds are a jungle gym of swinging, chaotic thought. Endless thinking that’s exhausting, unhealthy, and unnecessary. Meditation, a magical and practical tool, tames the chaotic mind by

–       Creating space between thoughts to allow a moment to choose a response instead of reacting

–       Maintaining and supporting emotional balance

–       Revealing our authentic human self and connecting to our spiritual self

–       Healing profound emotional wounds as well as unprocessed slights

 Daniel Goleman, an author and science journalist who wrote the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence, says in Mindful Magazine, “At some point, when you’re trying to do your meditation, your mind will wander. We’re wired that way. The key is: Do you notice that it wanders? Once you notice your mind has wandered off and you bring it back, you’re strengthening the circuitry for focus [and]attention.

Bringing back the chaotic monkey mind is simple but not easy. The act of simplicity is choosing a word that feels calming; like peace, love, or surrender. A word that shakes loose a positive feeling as it’s repeated. Peace, peace, peace. If loving words evade you, shift attention toward breathing to activate the positive energy.  The singular focus invites and sustains the inner calm. It rests the mind like a once swinging monkey who has eyed and grasped a banana sitting calmly and quietly focused on its flavor. Until…. the monkey and its mind are off again into teasing or taunting or swinging….

And so, it goes, returning to calm from the teasing, taunting, swinging thoughts by a calmly repeated loving word or envisioning a monkey quietly, enjoying a banana.

As a meditation practice grows it shifts the perception of our self and others. The imperceptible shift may cause the ego to activate fear. Rumor has it, the ego is no fan of change using fear to get attention.

Pema Chodron, a Buddhist Nun believes, “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are.”

Meditation befriends by cultivating our wholeness. Wholeness is meeting and greeting all our parts; the good, the bad, and what we judge as ugly. Self-acceptance includes a welcoming of repressed parts allowing us to live in the world authentically. Our authenticity is imbued with energy, solutions, and creativity which reflects our inner truth instead of maintaining the relentless pushing and prodding of a persona we flash toward the world.

While there are many ways to meditate, beginning with a few minutes of repeating a simple calming word or feeling breath flow in and out invites moments of inner peace. Try it right NOW…surrender, surrender, surrender, surrender. Good thing, now is available 24/7.

Zen Master, Thich-Nhat-Hahn, shares meditation’s work in this profound nugget of wisdom.

“To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem.
To meditate means to observe.
Your smile proves it.
It proves that you are being gentle with yourself,
that the sun of awareness is shining in you,
that you have control of your situation.
You are yourself,
and you have acquired some peace.”

Peace Out! Now.

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    silvia

    Hey Julia, I really loved this piece and thank you for discussing it. I often practice meditation and have notice some serious improvements in my state of mind because of it. Even when I’m anxious at night and can’t sleep, I usually meditate and that helps me unwire my brain so I can drift off. Now I use the mantra I picked up from Eat, Pray, Love, and I do find that focusing on a word helps your mind from continuously wandering.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Julia Flynn

      Thanks Silvia. I appreciate your stopping by to comment. Serious improvements is the best way to put it. It’s a life changer in all the best ways. When Oprah & Deepak do their free 21 days of meditation I do that. Lots of Sanskrit mantras that I can never remember….I feel some major shifting when I do those meditations. Try it out sometime! :>

      Reply

Leave a comment