The specific character of the mind is to wander. Ramana Maharshi says: “The mind is a bundle of thoughts.” So how can we control the mind? It is through mindfulness meditation that we can manage to control the mind.
Here is a small comparison; The clouds are the thoughts (the mind) and the sky is you, do not worry about the clouds, they change and move constantly, settle on the sky.
Our true nature is not the mind, and it is by practicing mindfulness meditation that you can learn to be aware of who you are.
Mindfulness meditation is being in the present moment. Focus your attention on the present moment and on everything around you, your environment, who you are, your emotions, your feelings and especially your wandering thoughts.
Stop the mind from wandering during mindfulness meditation.
When you consciously direct your attention, you change your state of mind, the mind attains one-pointedness, that’s meditation. But most of the time, our thousands of daily thoughts are directed to the past or the future, they are rarely directed to the present moment.
When the mind is consciously directed to a thing, for example, your breath, it is appeased and it stops wandering, that is meditation. It is like you attach a monkey to a tree, it stops wandering, but the nature of the monkey is precisely to wander. That is meditation, you attach your mind to something.
We think that we are confined in a body and in a spirit and we project our automatic thoughts to the outside. We never pay attention to the one who projects these thoughts.
The practice of mindfulness meditation is precisely to realize that we are not an instrument that produces an incessant flow of thoughts.
Practicing Mindfulness meditation is to become aware of the present moment that we constantly flee. Place yourself as an observer of your thoughts and emotions you will instantly turn your mind inward. You will discover that the past and the future do not really exist.
1. What is the best meditation technique?
There are many forms of meditation but all have one thing in common is to bring back the mind of its wandering in order to stop these incessant thoughts and calm the mind.
There is no better meditation technique. You have to try each style and see what works best for you. You can also alternate between different techniques to find the one that suits you best.
I will enumerate here some practices but without going into detail:
- The Mantra (the repetition of the sacred songs). You repeat these sacred songs a certain number of times a day, that’s all.
- Vipassana (clear-seeing) the importance here is to stay present and vigilant about what is going on around you.
- Chakra (cycle or wheel) these are centers of energy in the body. There are seven main chakras that are located on the median line of the body.
- Siddha Yoga (perfection) is a more mystical way. The divine presence is in me and it is He who awakens me.
- Sati (mindfulness) breathing.
Try all styles to find yours. For the purpose of this article, I will discuss mindfulness meditation.
2. What is mindfulness meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is to bring your attention back to the present moment. Remember, the mind wanders all the time and when it is brought back to the present moment, it is as we attach it to something.
Without any support, it is very difficult to focus on the present moment because we are constantly fleeing the present moment. This technique is based precisely on something, we attach our mind to something, but then what is it? Continue further down…
3. How to bring the mind to the present moment?
Well, it’s by watching his breath. By doing the breathing exercise.
The Ramana Maharshi analogy is very rewarding and easy to understand. He says that the mind is the rider and the breath is the horse. When the breath is controlled, the horse is controlled. And at the same time, the rider is controlled.
By observing your breath, you divert the mind from other activities into a single activity that is breathing.
And finally, by controlling your breath, you turn the mind inward. It’s that simple.
The practice of mindfulness meditation is very simple. If you are starting out, it is best to retire to a quiet and comfortable place where you will not be disturbed during your session.
Wear clothing that is loose. Sit on a chair, lay your feet on the floor, your back straight, your head straight and stay relaxed. Close your eyes, take two to three large breaths. When you inhale, feel your abdomen fill up with air and when you exhale, feel your abdomen deflate. Then, breathe normally while focusing your attention on your breathing. Consciously, you now feel imbued with a deep sense of peace filling your body.
4. When the mind wanders, refocus on the breath
If you hear background noises, it’s normal, the world is made of noise. The background noises do not bother you, let them arrive and leave without analyzing their contents.
Likewise, thoughts will come and go, it is inevitable. It is the very nature of the mind. You cannot ask a monkey to stop jumping, it’s his nature. When you discover that the mind wandered off, bring it back by refocusing on your breath. That’s it.
When a thought arrives, focus your attention on it. Examine the sensations it provides without judgment.
This thought may be accompanied by pleasurable or unpleasant or neutral sensations; it is only necessary to become acquainted with it as an observer and without making any judgment.
This thought can also bring about physical sensations, we just have to observe them. The goal here is to learn to break away from these mental and physical phenomena and understand that you are not your thoughts.
By throwing ourselves into the whirlwind of the hectic life, we let ourselves be guided by our thoughts and we forgot the one who thinks.
By practicing mindfulness meditation we turn the mind inward and we stand in the center of the whirlwind watching it turn.