If we become friends with the mind in Meditation, thoughts will subside.
Did you know that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, used to Meditate?
Steve Jobs said this about Meditation:
If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom, and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.
Obviously, Steve Jobs loved to Meditate, he learned how to bypass the mind and go directly to stillness. And we can too.
Many people struggle with the mind in Meditation.
One of the main concerns people share with me is that their mind is always thinking during Meditation. They say they can’t get their mind to stop. Some people share that experiencing their busy mind in Meditation is what has made them give up the practice altogether.
I have been Meditating for nearly 30 years and created Meditation Box so that you too can experience the benefits of this essential, expansive and life-affirming practice.
When I first started practicing, it was hard to still my mind. And this would sometimes be frustrating.
Over time, I found that the more regular my practice became, the easier it was to go into Meditation. And as a result, the quieter my thoughts became. There were also specific techniques I used to meditate, which helped me focus my mind. Sometime I would focus on the breath and other times; I would use a guided Meditation.
Make the Mind Your Friend
The mind is an excellent tool in our Meditation practice, but it can also put up a lot of barriers. And this is why I want to explain how we can work with the mind in Meditation, how we can make the mind our friend.
After we become comfortable with the mind, we can consciously start to direct it.
Firstly we need to be at ease when we witness the noise of our thoughts, but that shouldn’t deter us. Instead, let it highlight the need to Meditate.
So today I am going to share five ways you can work with the mind in Meditation. They will help you understand the nature of your thoughts. And this is essential to going deeper into Meditation. When we know the mind and learn ways to work it, then it is much easier to focus and become still.
Here are the 5 Top Reasons why People Secretly Love the Mind in Meditation:
1. They realise the nature of the mind is to think and let go of control
In Eastern traditions, the mind is viewed as a tool to know our true self in Meditation, and life. They also highlight that the way to a quiet mind is not through force.
Imagine the mind as a telescope or a projector, it reflects whatever information is shown through it.
Our minds are just like this, so why not use the mind to our benefit? The thoughts of the mind are a representation of our inner state. Thoughts reflect whatever is going on inside. They reflect our beliefs and attitudes. Through the process of Meditation, we become aware of these things and then let them go.
In Meditation, we can view our thoughts like ripples on a lake, we know they are there but also know they will settle when the wind settles.
And it is the same with the process of Meditation, over time thoughts settle. Having this understanding means we can view the mind with objectivity. It means we are less likely to become upset when thoughts arise.
When we gain this objectivity, our thoughts have less of a hold on us, and we start to see them for what they really are: energy. Being aware that our thoughts are energy, we can more easily let them pass and let them go.
2. Being the witness is the most liberating thing of all
This second tip leads on from the first. When we gain objectivity by realising that the nature of our mind is to think, we take the place of a witness. And this puts us in a position of power in our Meditation.
Imagine you are standing on the top of a mountain watching the clouds go by, you are a witness to the clouds, but you are not swept up by them. the clouds haven’t come along and carried you away.
You are still. You are standing on top of the mountain being the witness.
This approach is helpful in Meditation, to witness your thoughts, to let them come and let them go.
3. They learn to let go of expectations and find contentment
Letting go of expectations also flows on from the previous point. When we take the place of the witness, we free ourselves of needing the mind to stop. And this is key.
Having any expectation in Meditation can get in our way. It can create a disturbance, and this disturbance is what produces thoughts.
So what I like to do at the beginning of the Meditation is set an intention. I want to free myself of expecting anything to come out of the Meditation. I remind myself that the fruit of Meditation is that practice itself, no matter what happens.
There are many expectations we can have when starting to practice Meditation, and here are some of them:
- Inner peace will happen in the first session
- Being able to de-stress just takes a few deep breaths
- We will resolve an issue instantly
- Controlling our thoughts will be effortless
- Uplifting experiences come by themselves
With any of these expectations, allow yourself to let them go. Know that Meditation brings all the benefits we are looking for. It just takes time and attention.
When we free ourselves of expectations, we allow our mind to be at ease.
Letting go of expectations means it's less likely we will obsess over an idea or fixate on a thought. Doing this means we can be present in the moment. We have a greater ability then, to focus on the breath or our guided meditation technique, and when we focus in this way we can let go completely
4. The breath becomes a guide - all the way to stillness
Focusing on the breath is a powerful way to still the mind. Conversely when we become unbalanced in our daily life if we are distracted, then the breath goes out of balance, and when the breath is out of balance, it affects our mind.
Aligning the mind with the breath, focusing on the breath has a very calming effect. It can restore and rejuvenate the entire body. And it can bring about deep stillness.
In my meditation coaching sessions, we always do mini-meditations together and use the breath as a powerful tool to calm the mind and body. We also use the breath to direct our awareness to one point of focus. When thoughts arise, I remind my clients to become the witness, like watching clouds in the sky and to just let those thoughts go.
Focusing on the breath is an entire meditation in itself and can take you very deep into the state of stillness and silence within.
5. Patience teaches that they were worrying without reason
Having patience is like a soothing balm for the mind. Many people talk to me about their meditation experiences, and what I get from these experiences is that they want the desired end state now, especially as beginners.
When starting with a Meditation practice, we all hope to experience inner peace, stillness and love.
But the thing to understand is that just as with any practice, it takes time to learn the techniques. And it also takes time to let go and let your awareness fall to a deeper place within.
So have patience with your practice. Know that there is no such thing as a bad Meditation. Every time you sit down to be quiet, making that effort is a success. It is a success because shifting your attention away from external stimuli and turning it within has far-reaching benefits — more than we can consciously understand.
So have patience. When you become free of expectations and become the witness, you will realise that whatever happens in Mediation is a blessing.
So to recap here are the top five reasons why people secretly love the mind in Meditation:
- They realise the nature of the mind is to think and let go of control
- Being the witness is the most liberating thing of all
- They learn to let go of expectations and find contentment
- The breath becomes a guide - all the way to stillness
- Patience teaches that they were worrying without reason
Understanding the mind is key to going deep in Meditation.
Now it's your turn
In your next Meditation session, see if you can implement even one of these top strategies. Be kind to yourself and let go of any expectations in your Meditation. See if you can relish the beauty and power of the present moment. Those thoughts will settle naturally and you may even find yourself falling deep into Meditation.
When we know the mind and can become a witness of the mind this has positive benefits on our Meditation but also our daily life and as Steve Jobs said:
Overtime when your mind does calm, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom, and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.
Have you listened to the latest Meditation Unboxed Podcast? I talk all about working with the mind in Meditation. You can listen to it here: