I’ve recently been experimenting with meditation as a means of clearing my mind before going to bed or while sitting in traffic. I see meditation as sort of mental defragmentation; a way to reorganize my thoughts by clearing the proverbial table of everything, then putting this back on the table when needed.
You may want to read that article, then return here to better understand the remainder of this post.
I already have control of my thoughts—most of the time, that is. Sure, there are times when random cartoons get drawn or I am compelled suddenly to listen to some obscure song. The latter, though, spawned a great theme for the past few weeks’ work music selection though: shoegazing music, ala My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse, etc. I am capable of rejecting thoughts which I’d rather not muse, and can keep those thoughts at bay effortlessly.
Patience is something I’ve always had. There are times I think I have too much patience, but the situation ends up working out better in the end when I’ve used my (legendary?) patience. However, I know it takes time and work—practice—to perfect the art of meditation. My patience is still tried by incompetent or malicious people, and I’d just as soon dismiss them from their responsibilities and take those responsibilities in addition to my own until a suitable replacement comes.
Detachment from my thoughts is related to control of them, but adds in the ability to see the thought from an external camera, per say. If I can let go of a thought—if I can detach from it—I can clear it from my mental table easily. I can also see that thought from other peoples’ perspective, and understand their support or opposition thereof. This consideration of other peoples’ perspective and how much weight it bears in relation to my perspective allows me to understand the greater picture and detach myself from my own tunnel vision.
Remaining intense and disciplined is difficult, but I’m improving with practice. I find I’m able to force myself to begin clearing my head quicker as time goes on.
Concentrating on something else is the hardest part of meditation, at least for me. I tend to clear my mind of one thing by replacing it with another, less important thing. Sometimes, though, that new thought leads to something else which then leads to another heavy thought which I’d rather not consider. Recently, I’ve led my mind to space scenes ala APOD or some of the nature pictures I’ve taken in the past. These are things that have little or no relevance to things related to my daily life and are perfect fodder for mental table clearings—the last thing on the table, perhaps.
Some folks find religious prayer meditative. I don’t because it puts more things in my mind instead of centering me and clearing my mind. If you’d ask me, I’d recommend avoiding prayer when meditating for that reason.
I still have a long way to go before meditation is any more than a means to fall asleep quickly. I’d eventually like to be able to use it to calm myself down when agitated or as way to induce a semi-hypnotic, trance-like state.