Meditation and the Mind
There are many ways to meditate….. Run, swim, walk, garden, focus on the breath, Kundalini meditation, Vipassana, TM, Mindfulness…. It is a long, long list.
Some of these ways are “spiritual”, other, like Mindfulness, appeal to a broader base because although it is a personal practice and can be regarded as a form of Vendanta, essentially, God or any spiritual connotation or connection has been quietly erased.
But ultimately the goal of all of it is the same: to still he mind.
Ultimately, but perhaps rarely spoken, we want to take mastery over our minds: To remove the mind/ego from it’s unearned position of King of All we Think, and turn it, the mind, into a useful tool.
This may seem hilarious and somewhat abstract, but why take up meditation, yoga, alternative thoughts and all unless you have hit a place in your reality where you realise you are too stressed, too anxious, perhaps even overwhelmed, depressed and unhappy?
Take a step back and look at all of these words. All are linked to the mind. How we think creates how we feel, and the converse is true. It is an endless loop, spirally and turning, an Oroborus, quietly spinning into hell unless we stop, take some deep breaths and try to meditate.
Notice the awful word here, try.
Meditation is hard, challenging, exhausting, down right awful, gruelling, difficult….. Again, so,many words. But sit to meditate and you will discover just how much your mind does not want you to discover that you can use it as a tool and push it to one side, that you can sit in silent bliss.
Learning to meditate is a journey. A trek up a rocky mountain, a descent into the depths of your internal hell. I can speak with great authority here. I have been meditating daily for almost 20 years and oh, my mind, what a complete bastard you can be!
In the discipline of Kundalini practice we lay with meditation. There are literally 100’s of different practices. Three tools are used to enable you to grab the monkey, that is your mind, by the tail and force it to sit still:
The breath, mudra and mantra.
The breath can be manipulated in many ways: held, pumped, sped up, slowed down, almost stopped, completely. The breath is the portal to NOW. Now is the Neutral Mind. Stillness and acceptance, where all pain of the past and fear of the future is dissolved and falls away.
Mudra is hand and finger positions that link and manipulate subtle energies in the polarities of the mind: positive/negative, male/female, moon/sun, all the five elements and the planets. We hold the intention with mudra.
Mantra are words of power. These can be as simple as I am, I am, or Sat Nam, and can also be complex prayers of repetition, verses or Shabads. Mantras are the verbal expression of intention.
Kundalini meditations contain one, or two or all of these tools and they are specifically included to empower you into stilling the mind.
If you are new to Kundalini, or perhaps new to all of this, including meditation, here is an easy way to begin:
I Am, I Am. It means I am my soul.
Sit comfortably, set some kind of time on your phone or a stopwatch, and close your eyes.
You are mentally repeating I Am, I am, gently, monotonously, over and over and watching how you can stay with it, or not.
Chances are your mind will be put into overdrive and you will find yourself thinking about anything except I Am, I Am.
You will know you are actually meditating when you realise you have gone off piste and you bring yourself back….
Start with 3 minutes.