Last Wednesday, more than 20 people who are committed to their journey gathered together at the Heal Center for my Meditation Class. What a wonderful group of people! The next day, some of the therapist at the center said they could still feel the positive vibes. In class, we explored mainly 2 types of meditation: Concentration meditation and Insight meditation.
Let’s explore the concentration meditation.
In Concentration meditation, you focus on a single object. It might be your breathing, or it might be a mantra, an image, a candle. You gently return to this object whenever your mind wanders. You do this over and over until it blocks out any thought or worry and your mind becomes peaceful.
If you are a beginner with meditation, it is very important to have the right attitude and expectation. Setting an expectation of having no thoughts is unrealistic. Thoughts are one of the things that make us human, and meditation will do nothing to change this fact. If this is your goal, you set yourself to fail. Your goal should be to be able to come back to the breath (or another object) every time your mind wander. Try to remember that it is natural for the mind to wander. When it does, do not feel that you are failing. It is simply an opportunity to do the practice. Jack Kornfield, a leading meditation teacher in the US, once used the analogy of training a puppy: you don’t get angry or punish the puppy, you simply show it the correct behavior until it sticks.
HERE IS YOUR TIP:
When your mind wanders, come back to your object.
If you are able to catch the mind wandering and bring it back, you are doing the practice.
A question came up during the meditation class by one of the participants:
Why are we trying to quiet our mind and let go of thoughts during a meditation? Isn’t it true that we sometimes get important insight and sometimes even answers to questions during meditation?
Would love to hear your answers for this question.
More tips, and this time on Insight Meditation here in my blog on Thursday.