Running After A Thing Called the Mind : A Meditator’s Guide

Everthing’s perfect. The room is quiet, devices are on silent mood and you’re easing into the lotus posture, ready to get into the world of meditation. A dim memory of a bill payment looms up, out of nowhere. Was it due today? No wait, it’s not until four days. Will mark my calendar, right after meditation.

The smile appears on the face, again, and silence starts seeping in.

Wait, what’s that smell? Have I switched off the stove? Hmm, now that I’m thinking, need to add to the list of groceries for tomorrow’s dinner. 
Wait, come back!

This happens. Sometimes, thoughts just drizzling in the mind before meditation and before you know it, there’s a downpour. Something that happened yesterday, going to happen tomorrow, planning for the day…happiness, pride about something that went well, anxiety about the outcome of something else… everything snowballs. It’s normal for it to happen. Thoughts don’t seek our permission and knock on our door. Yet meditation is the act of relaxing you and stocking you up with more energy and focus. And yes, it’s easy to help yourself to free yourself from thoughts when you’re meditating. 

# It’s Alright:

Accept all thoughts when you meditate. Let them come. Thoughts come and go away too. Observing this phenomenon will settle the mind. What helps is sitting to meditate in a state of surrender. When you meditate, simply let go and enjoy. With this you will find the mind gradually coming to rest.

# Observe:

When sitting to meditate, simply observe the thoughts come and go, like passing clouds. It’s easy to want to hold onto a thought, mull on it. When you’re meditating, just let it go. The trick is to not get into a conversation with the thought. Tempting as it may be, let’s not think about whether it’s a really great idea or “How could I have just said that about my boss?” - even if it’s in my head! Let’s not label thoughts. Just observe. 

# Practice Makes Perfect:

It maybe be easy…to find reasons not to meditation daily. Yet, don’t. It will turn out to be one of the best things you do for yourself. Just set the time aside as your ‘me’ time, your date with yourself. The practice of meditation will nurture you from inside to really be your best in everything that you choose to be. So just honor that commitment and time you’ve decided to put aside for meditation. 

# A for Awareness:

During meditation, awareness about just one mantra could really help bring focus and ease into the practice. For the time you’re meditating, just remember: ‘I am nothing; I want nothing; I do nothing’. No lawyer, baker, sportsperson. No lists of what I need to buy next season. No cooking, cleaning, mailing and shopping. Just for the time of your meditation. The awareness of this one simple mantra will truly bring back the mind, every time it decides to go for a walk. 

# It’s Truly Delicious:

We are what we eat. The adage, though clinched, is true. Food affects our thoughts. And the spicier the food, more busier is the traffic of thoughts. Usually.
So making little changes in your lifestyle, food patterns will, over time, yield results. A little fasting will also cleanse the system and give it a break. You might even want to get a pulse reading done and find out more about your constitution.

There are many who have benefited with the Ayurvedic way of life – you might want to venture into the fascinating world of healing herbs and therapies. These don’t interfere with your current patterns of doing things. Yet complement what you do – with some stunning results. 

# Time for a headstand:

If you’re really feeling restless, a little bit of yoga and pranayama would go a long, long way. You could do some warm ups or following some interesting sequences from The Sri Sri Yoga Studio. Yoga and breathing techniques help to remove the restlessness from the body-mind and get you ready for meditation. If you’re pressed for time, even ten minutes would help. And you could gradually build upto a more longer, challenging sequence.

If you are still looking for more methods to control the mind, register yourself for the next Art of Living Sahaj Samadhi course. The mantra meditation taught works like an eraser, cleaning our consciousness at various levels and dissolving any thoughts. Download & use the Sattva App on your phone and track your commitment towards your practice.