Quieting the Mind
Okay I'm just going to admit it, I am not a great meditator! If you doubt me, just ask Dr. Michelle Medrano, a mentor/teacher who led me through much of my Religious Science Practitioner training. We were required to meditate everyday. Most of my fellow students would meditate, while I would sit and listen to the crazy thoughts running through my head. I swear I tried every technique known to humankind, every day, for three years!
I was chatting with our Founder, Gregg Ponder about this and he passed on some wonderful tips for "quieting the mind" based on his own experience and Eckhart Tolle's book, "The Power of Now". I have great respect for both these men, as well as my husband, André, who also meditates regularly. They seem to have an inner peace, or at least can access that peace when necessary. I would like to emulate their peace when life's little upsets throw me off balance.
Therefore, from Gregg and Eckhart Tolle, I share a few of their tips for quieting the mind. There are many other techniques, but these seem to have a different approach than I have heard in the past. Possibly I have heard these too, but wasn't ready to listen!
First, understand that you are not your thoughts, and that you will continue to exist after thinking ceases. (Hmmm, could this be an ego problem, i.e. my ego is afraid it will not exist if I stop thinking?)
2nd, ask yourself if you can stop thinking any time you want. Find out if you are in control of your thoughts or is it the other way around. If thinking is an addiction, then choose to break the habit.
(Whoa, thinking can be an addiction? Why does this resonate so strongly?)
Slowly turn down the volume of the inner thoughts until they are not audible.
Slow down the inner thoughts until the silent space between words is more than the words themselves. Keep spreading out the words and increasing the silent space between them until the thoughts cease.
When having thoughts, stop them in mid sentence and "hold" that last word. I.e. if you are thinking about Gateway Cottage, stop at Cottage and spread that word out, like holding a note of a song. As long as you're holding that note/word, the next thought can't enter.
Turn off the mind and see how long the silence can be maintained. Once silence is broken with another thought, turn off the mind again, and each successive time the silence will be longer.
If you cannot cease the thoughts with other techniques, then you might as well replace them with more productive thoughts. You could repeat "Divine Light" or "Peace" or any other word/mantra you come up with. Picture the divine light or peace entering your mind/body and see if you can fill yourself with that essence.
Remember, you are in control of your thoughts, not the other way around!
What's your favorite technique to quiet the mind?
Love and light,