December 28, 2017

Buddhist or Mindfulness Meditation


The Buddhist form of meditation, also known as Mindfulness meditation, bases its principals on keeping the mind fully focused in the present. Not the past, not the future, just present; here and now.

The human mind is one of the most incredibly complex entities on this planet. However, most people do not use the mind to its full potential. Some would say that this factor makes us a slave to the mind. Most people unfortunately do not disassociate themselves from their minds and therefore have certain problems during meditation. The Buddha says our mind is like a chain of reactions and desires. When we catch ourselves in this downfall of reactions, we miss experiencing the true meaning of life.

For example, when eating an apple our mind might say “€œI”€™ll feel better if I eat a banana”€. Then you might change your mind and instead of the apple you eat a banana. When eating the banana you might think “€œI”€™ll feel better if I eat a pineapple”€, because a pineapple is supposed to be more expensive and harder to come by. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and we always want what we cannot have.

Another way to explain this technique of being fully in the present is when we engage in activities such as cooking or driving. Normally the unconscious mind will wander unaware that it is wandering. Thinking about certain things such as a previous conversation, all the things we need to do that day, or the imaginary conversations that we have in our head clouds our minds. For the mind, there is no difference between reality and our mental dialogue. Both produce feelings, emotions, and ultimately actions. Therefore these actions create reactions also known as the karma cycle.

“€œAll sickness, all shallowness, all pain, all miseries are the outcome of one source: keeping negativity within yourself”€ Yogi Bhajan

Mindfulness is about keeping the mind in the here and now, and enjoying the present moment with full focus and attention. The technique is simple, you just need to keep your attention on the breath. This may be simple to say, but for the untrained mind it can be hard to achieve one pointed attention for more than three minutes.

Another common distortion of the mind is “€œthe mental connotations“€. In any situation the mind always looks in the memory bank for situations similar to those we had in the past. This happens so fast that instead of seeing and feeling that moment in particular as unique, the mind jumps immediately to what happened during a different time period. So you are not fully seeing this experience of what it is, but connecting it with a past one.