We fear meditation because we do not know what to expect.
When you sit down for meditation, do not expect the world to disappear immediately. With practice, you can do that but until then you need to be patient.
The Mind is like Indra, King of Indriyas. With willpower, we can close our eyes but it takes more to resist his baits. It is that subtle entity which takes practice to understand and comprehend.
If you have read Amarchitra Katha, you might have read about Indra, King of Gods doing all unholy things and feeling sorry afterwards. While reading about him, these thoughts would have crossed your mind-
- How can the King of Gods fall prey to pleasures?
- He is often described as the one who is restless and in continuous fear of losing his throne to anybody. He sees a sage also as a threat.
- Either he is too humble or too arrogant; he seldom hit the middle ground.
- And he doesn’t take the counsel of the Trinity before he acts but runs to them after committing the act.
- Else he runs away and hides. He doesn’t want to face anybody and is overcome by guilt.
All these characteristics are similar to the Mind.
When I initially started meditating, it wasn’t easy. With the senses under your control, you can now see your thoughts very clearly. Very few would admit what all they see. It is embarrassing sometimes but that is why people are so unwilling to close their eyes. Many today advocate you to meditate with open eyes.
So anyway, getting back to what I was saying. The thoughts are like Indra, agitated. It doesn’t want you to observe it so keenly. So it will do anything to make you give up. But that is okay, it happens to everybody.
When you sit down to meditate, one of the many things will surface and will force you to join them.
- Thoughts which are important to you(family, work etc..)
- Thoughts that you have planned for the future
- Thoughts of some good moments you spend
- Instances that never occurred but which you had dreamt about.
- Mistakes you committed which were never forgiven(by you).
- Vile thoughts which are against your belief system
- Uncanny thoughts
By now, the mind is restless; you open your eyes and things will slowly come to normalcy. But if you insist on continuing then Indra will use his last weapon Vajrayudha. If you overcome it, you will gain some control over the mind.
- Repressed fears will surface.
It is like a watching a live show if you go with it. It is unsettling and might make you nervous. Trust your scriptures when they say the mind isn’t you.
Great seers had to endure it in spite of living a disciplined life. Remember the story of Viswamitra- you do not give up. Understand that they can’t hurt you, they are just thoughts.
If you think the thoughts are you or yours then that very thought will stand as an obstacle in your practice.
Sometimes the mind doesn’t approve of a thought. It might want to rationalize it to make it more acceptable. One of the two things you could do:
- Just keep watching the anxious mind and it will pass but might come back. Unfinished business, you see 😉
- Let it rationalize, you approve it. Leave it at that. It will continue with that for some time but do not entertain it. If you go with it, it will build a castle on that thought.
You might think, what would that do to my memory? Sublimation and rationalization happen all the time, it is just that we do not pay attention to it.
For example: when we do not like someone, we don’t admit that we are jealous or they are better but instead we look for reasons to hate them. There might be hundreds of good things staring at us but we will stay blind to that.
And how much ever you decorate a corpse, it will still go under the Earth. Our memories are faulted and they are past and doesn’t hold life. So, it doesn’t matter. Just don’t go overboard and keep decorating it ;). Let it go.
By now, you will really know how the mind operates. And when you watch the thoughts, you will see variety and their transitionary nature.
With time, mind slows down and then you would clearly see what lies beneath.
When we churn the ocean, good and bad will emerge. How could we say that the Ocean is faulty? The mind is like an ocean and only churning will bring peace.
From my experience, I can promise you this- that whatever has surfaced during med would never come to haunt you again. You would have made peace with it. So, go ahead. Close your eyes and experience the Divine.
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