Read Part 1 here… Why is Meditation so difficult?
Have you ever seen a monkey?
Of course, you have!
Have you observed what a monkey does?
Yea! It keeps leaping from branch to branch, from tree to tree, scratches itself, looks around, and in short, it does everything but sit still for a minute!
Have you observed what our mind does?
Yea! About the same too! It runs amok with the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves and spit and how!
No wonder, the Buddhists call the human mind – the monkey mind!
With our thoughts running at the speed of light or maybe faster, our mind is in a state of constant unrest. To ask it to be still in such a condition, is trying to do the impossible. We carry out most activities without even being aware of it. In the morning, we get into our cars and begin our drive, say, to our office. The next thing we realise is that we are already parking our car in the parking lot. We are not even aware how we drove to office. How does that happen? Why can’t we remember what happened on the way? What was our mind doing? The mind was actually busy jumping from one thought to another all during the drive. Only our eyes were on the road, the mind was elsewhere. That is precisely the reason we can’t remember how we drove to office in an automated mode. In fact, we do every task as if we are automated machines. We start a task, and we continue doing it, all the while letting our minds be plagued by a million thoughts.
The whole point of meditation is precisely this. Meditation does not mean sitting cross-legged and trying to concentrate on the abstract. It does not mean removing all other thoughts from your mind. It does not mean “preventing” thoughts from entering your mind.
On the contrary, it means, doing every task with the utmost concentration. It means, being completely aware of what you are doing. It means, using all your sense organs while doing a task.
For example, we fill our plates with food and then settle in front of the TV or laptop or mobile or books. While we are completely absorbed in watching TV or working on the laptop or playing with the mobile, the mouth keeps opening and shutting with every morsel of food.The hand keeps moving up and down, from the plate to the mouth and back. And before we know it, the plate is empty. We have not enjoyed a single morsel of food. We have not let the aroma of food fill our nose, nor the taste to pleasure our tongue; we have not let the sight of food to fill our eyes nor the texture to touch our skin. We have only filled our stomach but left our senses hungry. To top it, the mind could be agitated, angry, or thinking of some future possibility. It is anything but calm.
The point of meditation is to do every task with awareness. When you eat, devote yourself to eating. Look at the food, smell its aroma, feel the texture with your hand, and tongue, pleasure your taste buds and feel it fill your stomach and heart. Express gratitude to the Lord for putting food on your plate. Chew every morsel well. And then even eating becomes meditation!
This is the simple key to meditation- Concentrating on the task at hand. Being aware of what you are doing at that moment. Not worrying about the past or the future but focussing at the present.
Don’t worry about meditation. Just begin by being aware. That will be the first step to meditation. When this becomes your habit, you will be ready to move to the next step.