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Showing posts from August, 2016

Mind as a membrane

Hang some washing on the line and it will be blown by the wind, roasted by the sun.

Imagine your mind like the washing, a membrane vibrating in the world.

We are not responsible for how the mind is affected by the world, nor the thoughts that it makes. We are, however, responsible for what we do with these things.

Dealing with a common meditation problem - nothing happens

After you've tried doing simple meditation for a few weeks, you may have gone beyond wandering mind and you may be able to stay with your breath for an extended period of time - breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out. I have a friend who very expert at this but she says that nothing happens beyond this - she just watches her breath go in and out. This may be happening to you.

One of things the mind is gone at is picking things up and doing it - this is what we learn at school. Pay attention, concentrate, work hard. If we are skillful at this method of doing things, then we transfer this skill into meditation practice. However, meditation is psychosomatic response to the process of letting go and doing nothing - it is the successful act of relaxing and allowing ourselves to uncover our true nature.

So then, how do we switch off this intrusive mind that wants to be there as we meditate and be successful at it?

Here are some steps I find useful:

1. Establish your at…

Two paths of meditation

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Learning to meditate is fairly straightforward - we sit, we relax, we find an object for our mind to focus on and then we see what happens. This is the same for everyone - it's what we see that tends to develop over time - this is called insight.
Before we get there, we have two paths we might like to follow to get our minds under control. We can choose mindfulness or we can opt for samadhi (tranquility or concentration meditation). One path is the dry path and the other path is the wet path - I'll let you figure out which is which. Mindfulness requires paying relaxed attention to what is going on whereas samadhi is the skill of bringing the mind and body into a single unified experience of being and then letting go into progressively funky states of mind. 
For now, see what happens when you meditate. Next time I will look at the five obstacles and six hindrances - the things that you will find your mind enjoying day in day out.