Monday, 20 June 2016

Dive Into The Ocean of Your Thoughts

I've been meditating for six years but I didn’t know what Buddhist meditations were about until recently. And even though admitting this makes me feel incredibly foolish, I thought I’d share my findings in case you’ve been reading this blog for years and are equally clueless about meditation, beyond contacting angels, which we all love =)

There are different kinds of meditation and the one I have practiced all along is focused on connecting with my intuition, chatting with my angels and asking for guidance. It has been wonderful, but it can also take you away from the real world, instead of bringing you to a place where you can feel peace in the moment.

Then last month, I walked into a shop and a bright yellow book caught my eye. It had a mandala on the cover. The color drew me in even though the title was a bit of a downer: The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying, by Sogyal Rimpoche. 

I was drawn in by the themes of healing, compassion, reincarnation, life and death. It is full of jewels, but for me, the Buddhist take on meditaiton was the first eye opener:

 

1) We Meditate to Witness the Light of the Mind. 

This happens when the clouds clear and we can see the sun in a clear sky, because the author likens our thoughts and emotions to tempest floating across the sky. Our true mind is the sun and the blue sky. We don't tell the clouds to go,  instead, we just look at the sky, clouds and all, and wait for those brief moments of clarity. These moments of clarity might be brief, small spaces between the clouds, and with time, those gaps become longer and longer but still. we are never attached to the gaps. They come and go, like the clouds and we just watch the sky.
 
2) Posture and Breathwork Are Key. 

By keeping your back straight and your breath calm, and natural, we prepare physically. I had experienced this already in my angel meditations, intuition flows when you are sitting up straight and when your breath is rhythmic, not forced but it just sustains your rhythm. The Tibetan Book of Life and Death also suggests crossing your legs to represent the intersection of good and evil, where things are neutral, try it if you like =)
 
3) Keep Your Eyes Relaxed, but Open! 

Whereas my intuitive and psychic meditations usually involve closing your eyes and taking your attention away from the physical world to the spiritual realms, in Buddhist meditations you want to keep yourself fully in the moment so your eyes stay open, and you are aware but indifferent to your surroundings, including noise and distractions. I quite like this and with my dreamy Piscean mind (mercury in Pisces), I find this to be incredibly helpful. It keeps me from floating away and then when I stop meditating and go on with my day, I am also more easily present =)
 
4) Focus on a Mantra, an Object or Your Breath. 

The goal is to slowly train the mind so that you can observe your thoughts and not get stuck in them, or carried away by your emotions. To do this, we focus our attention on an specific thing - not obsessively - the author tells us to keep between 25 and 50% of our attention on the mantra, the object (a crystal, a flower or an image of Jesus, Ganesh, Buddha, etc) or on your breath. The rest of your attention will drift, and that is OK, we are learning to relax the mind.

5) Make Peace  With Your Ocean Of Thoughts 
 
Finally, the author gives us a second metaphor for the mind and emotions, one that resonated even more than the sky with the sun peaking through behind the clouds. Imagine that you are sitting in front of an ocean or a lake and watching the ripples across the top - those ripples are our thoughts, while the currents, changing temperatures and everything that goes on below the surface are our emotions. Sometimes our mind will be calm, with just a few ripples, sometimes the heat of our emotions lights it up and we have turbulence under the surface. 


In either case, we turn to our physical body for grounding, observing the ripples and the turbulence with love and with compassion knowing that it is just a temporary state and the peace will come soon enough. I thought that was quite beautiful, and I have been meditating on different mantras and crystals ever since. It has been grounding, and that is just what a grounding meditation is supposed to do, help us find solid ground when we are overwhelmed by a sea of emotions. 



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Reiki hugs, Regina


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