Mind and Meditation

Every spiritual and wisdom tradition in history has recommended some kind of meditation. This has, unfortunately, created the impression that it is solely a religious activity.  In actual fact, meditation is an activity to help calm the mind and harness its natural pristine clarity.  In Kathleen McDonald’s book, How To Meditate: A Practical Guide,  she explains things this way:

“The mind is a nonphysical kind of energy, and its function is to know, to experience.   It is awareness itself. It is clear in nature and reflects everything that it experiences, just as a still lake reflects the surrounding mountains and forests.

Mind changes from moment to moment. It is a beginningless continuum, like an ever-flowing stream:  the previous mind-moment gave rise to this mind-moment, which gives rise to the next mind-moment, and so on.  It is the general name given to the totality of our conscious and unconscious experiences:  each of us is the centre of a world of thoughts, perceptions, feelings, memories and dreams – all of these are Mind.

Mind is not a physical thing that has thoughts and feelings;  it is those very experiences.   Being nonphysical, it is different from the body, although mind and body are interconnected and interdependent.  Mind – consciousness is carried through our body by subtle physical energies which also control our movement and vital functions.  This relationship explains why, for example, physical sickness and discomfort can affect our state of mind and why, in turn, mental attitudes can both give rise to and heal physical problems.

Subduing the mind and bringing it to the right understanding of reality is no easy task .  It requires a slow and gradual process of listening to and reading explanations of the mind and the nature of things;  thinking about and carefully analyzing this information; and finally transforming the mind through meditation.

Meditation is an act of mental consciousness .  It involves one part of the mind observing, analyzing, and dealing with the rest of the mind. Techniques have different functions and benefits and each is a part of the process of bringing our mind to a more realistic view of ourselves and the world. Meditation can take many forms:  concentrating single pointedly on an internal object, trying to understand a personal problem, generating a joyful love for all humanity, praying to an object of devotion, communicating with our own inner wisdom, and so on.  Its ultimate aim is to awaken a very subtle level of consciousness and to use it to discover reality, directly and intuitively.”

When you realize just what meditation can do for health, healing, happiness and inner peace ,  it is no wonder that more and more people are learning and taking advantage of this activity.  It can be employed anywhere, anytime you wish.  Start today and harness your mind’s potential.

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