Improving Your Meditation (meditation – not medication!) part 1
Improving Your Meditation
According to the teachings of Swami Rama there are several main tasks to be accomplished during the beginning stage of meditation and practice.
1. developing the practice of internal dialogue
2. learning to cultivate mindfulness or meditation in action
3. having a regular practice time and place
4. developing a steady comfortable sitting posture
5. relaxing the body
6. learning the basics of breathing
Lets look at the the internal dialogue problem. Is your mind always wanting to switch to your thoughts and chatter to you? Fear not – help is at hand.
Meditation is not just a case of sitting quietly, listening to your breath and trying to stop the internal chattering – I know – like that wasn’t difficult enough eh?! There are certain processes to follow before you even start to meditate. Now don’t start closing your mind to this (and me!). When I started incorporating this first process, “developing the practice of internal dialogue” the changes were not only fantastic but immediate! (and who doesn’t like immediate success??!)
So lets take a closer look at internal dialogue …don’t get scared, bored or just plain ‘I can’t be arsed – my meditation is fine as it is’ – don’t forget, I got, so you could get, immediate success with this one change and and that brings immediate gratification!
Developing the practice of internal dialogue
Swami Rama says that the key task of internal dialogue is to make friends with your unconscious mind. This is meant literally, not just as a metaphor.
Through having the internal dialogue you are coming in contact with your inner, internal states. You are learning about the subtle aspects of your mind, your own conscience and at the same time you are training yourself. If you have a dialogue with yourself for a few minutes before you do meditation you are less likely to use some of your actual meditation time for self-dialogue and can actually decrease some of the internal chattering.
But more importantly ……… with internal dialogue you cultivate a relationship with your own mind. You must have confidence and understand that the mind is yours but it has taken over. In your self dialogue you do not, out of egotism, start controlling your mind – you start by being a friend.
Put in front of your mind all your external problems and your mind will share all its inner secrets and whispers. To do this you need courage. When you talk to a friend there is a question of what you accept and what you do not accept. Do experiments with yourself: how often does your mind lie and how often is it accurate. Establish a friendship with your mind on an equal basis. Do not listen to the mind’s temptations, but do listen to its suggestions, good ideas and advice.
So give it a go before you next meditate. Be honest. Be gentle, Be brave.