Be a Stubborn Toddler and Other Tips for Meditation
The Wandering Mind Blues
Every meditator gets frustrated by the wandering mind. Don’t worry. Your mind is used to being busy and active and when you start to meditate you’re forcing it to a stop.
You have got your whole life of non-stop action. So don’t expect that you can just sit down and allow your mind to immediately go into a state of calm and bliss. It takes time and it takes patience.
Tips to Improve Your Meditation
First, you need to concentrate! Your mind will wander off but you can’t let it. You can’t give it permission to go wandering off to every object that comes in front of your consciousness. You have got to bring it home! However, you will fail and you will fail again, and most people will want to quit.
Become Like a Stubborn Toddler
You need to be like a stubborn toddler. Have you ever seen kids failing to walk because they fell down? When was the last time you heard of a kid who never learned to walk because she fell down and hit her head a few times? You’ve forgotten your childhood stubbornness to learn how to walk. And that is what you need.
It is important to recover your inner child’s enthusiasm, energy, determination and focus to do what you need to do. In this case, learning to sit still in meditation.
“You’ve forgotten your childhood stubbornness to learn how to walk. And that is what you need.”
Getting Wiser Helps
In the context of improving our meditation it sure helps to get wiser. Wisdom is not something that you can buy or learn, wisdom is something that you receive by being concentrated, energetic, and by having faith. In order to have the faith to meditate, you need the wisdom to see the end result of all your actions.
Objects Aren’t Happiness
You need enough life experience to recognize that you are not going to find innate, long lasting happiness in the objects that you acquire. A romantic partner can’t carry your happiness. A job can’t either. No object can. This is because the happiness is not in the object. The happiness lies within the state of mind that you are in, when you are with that object.
This is not a denial of the body or the world. It is however a recognition that material things are impermanent, they are subject to change and loss, and they are in a constant state of struggle. There can be no peace in something that is subject to change and loss.
And let’s not forget about awareness. That’s the point of meditation after all. Awareness is the balancing factor to combine with concentration, faith and wisdom. Awareness is to see the nature of your consciousness as it is in the moment, while it is arising. How does consciousness arise in this moment? That is Buddha mind.
Calm, Clarity and Bliss are the Reward
Remember, as you develop your meditation practice, your awareness gets more pervasive and there will be greater states of calm and clarity. The bliss starts to expand and spread. You get wiser.
So, hang in there. Build your concentration. Develop your wisdom and awareness. Have faith that it will get easier the more you practice.