Meditation 101: How to tame the monkey mind

"The greatest meditation 
is a mind that lets go." -Atisha

Working endless hours to create, package and promote your work can cause you to blow a gasket-- and can sadly put you in an early casket. Which is why learning to meditate is such an important soul-care practice. 

Meditation is about becoming familiar with and training the human 'monkey mind.' The monkey mind acts as your boss or enemy-- throwing around crappy orders and thoughts. As your boss it tries to get you to control others. As your enemy it torments you with fear, worry and negativity.

"The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it." -Bhagavad Gita

Mind is a tool to be used to accomplish specific tasks. However most of the time the mind is engaged in incessant, habitual activity including-- remembering, observing, imagining, interpreting, judging, comparing, liking and disliking. 

When you meditate, you're consciously taking the time to stop long enough to reflect on your essence as a human 'being' and not as a human doing.'

Three easy steps to meditating:

#1. Be still: Sit comfortably with your back erect...not rigidly stiff. Close your eyes. Bring your attention to your breath. Put your attention on the inflow and outflow of abundant oxygen. 
#2. Breathe mindfully: Breathing prepares you for meditation by soothing your body and easing your mind. 7-count breathing technique. Breathe in for a count of 3. Hold on the 4th count. Then exhale for counts 5, 6 and 7. So your breathing would be: Inhale 1, 2, 3..hold 4. Exhale 5, 6, 7. Repeat the 7-count breath three times. Now...
#3. Bring awareness: When thoughts try to take your attention move your awareness from your thoughts back to your breath.

Do's and Don'ts of Meditation

"Think of meditation as taking a visit to go sit on God's lap." -Sonia Choquette

Don't think of meditation as some stiff or rigid exercise. It's an opportunity to be quiet in the presence of your higher power. The amount of time isn't important. Any time spent in the Presence is valuable.

"Muddy water, let stand...becomes clear." -Lao Tzu

Do see meditation as a way to clear your mind and body of negative tension and energies. It's a gift that you give yourself.

"Be still and know that I am God." -Ancient Scripture

Do remember that you are a divine being having a human experience. Just as you plug your cell phone into a power source to recharge-- you need to plug into your supernatural power source to recharge and refresh.

If you don't have time to meditate, you don't have time to succeed without stress. So take some time to get quiet and be still. Give yourself permission to slow down and just be and breathe.

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Image source: | Ambro

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