30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 4)
“The ego is like a clever monkey, which can co-opt anything, even the most spiritual practices, so as to expand itself.”
How do I meditate, you ask?
I sit in a comfortable upright posture, close my eyes and focus all my attention on my breath coming in and going out.
I do this for a few minutes and sometimes for longer periods.
This sounds easy to do but it’s not.
Because when I meditate, I come face to face with the monkey-mind.
And the monkey-mind likes to chatter. A lot. All the time.
Before I know it, I’m caught in its chatter.
Sometimes it’s about the things I did or didn’t do or the things I should do or shouldn’t do.
Sometimes it’s about things I said or saw or thought or heard or ate or should have.
After a while, I realize this and turn my attention back to the breath.
This is the beginner’s mind.
It helps me to start again and again and to persist in the face of failure.
Sometimes I start to write an article or explore an enticing idea or relive a pleasant memory.
Sometimes I fall asleep.
At such times, it’s more difficult to switch off the monkey and bring back mindfulness.
Meditation is my favorite activity. It’s what I want to excel in more than anything else.
And yet, I confess that I’m still a novice at it, even after years of practice.
When I say I’m a novice, I mean that the monkey-mind still wins more often than not when pitted against the lion of my mindfulness.
More often than I care to admit, even to myself.
It breaks my heart but I accept this truth.
Because in meditation as with writing, the process is more important than the product.
Disinterested action is the key.
As my meditation teacher says, “Do the work and don’t bother about the results because no step on the path is wasted.”
And rarely, I am rewarded with the still mind.
It’s the time when my mind is a silent witness.
It’s the time when the monkey stops chattering and goes somewhere else.
(This is rare, at least for me.)
Sometimes the monkey is back even before I realize it was gone, as if it’s a bloody boomerang.
And so I persist. I sit and I observe my breath and my mind.
It’s better than sitting around doing nothing. (:-)
Have you ever tried to witness the monkey in your mind and its incessant chatter?
Try it right now – close your eyes and watch the flow of thoughts for a while.
Did you do it?
Share with us in the comments below.