Mind — The tool without a manual
There is no denying, we all are born with mind and body, but unfortunately, it doesn't come along with an operational manual.
We are taught such a wide variety of subjects in our school, however, not a single subject on offer is remotely related to study of body and mind. With the rapid growth in the medical field and pharmaceutical industry the incentive to promote the well being of the body has increased exponentially. The overall awareness about the body and its functional maintenance has grown but same can’t be said about the mind.
In the absence of any manual, we just learn to use this tool on our own. There is absolutely no guidance on its usage. If you can recall your moments of bliss, joy, and ecstasy — most of your experiences could be possible when you were not thinking about anything — you were just alive, devoid of your thinking brain.
Is there a way to extend the experience?
Yes, irrespective of the kind of meditation practice you choose — from concentrative to contemplative — the transformation of mind from (restless to restful) through the path of meditation happens in the following Three stages.
Stage # 1
Once you decide to dedicate some time to this practice, the real nature of your (monkey) mind gets an opportunity to display its true acrobatic skills. When you want the mind to be quiet, it starts resisting immediately by showing you who is in actual control.
Inside the mind of a Stage #1 Meditator
There is a bright possibility this struggle may persist for the entire duration of your meditative session.
You need to just remember this is something as inevitable as a stumbling child who is learning to walk for the first time.
So persistence is the key here. Stop fighting with your thoughts. Let it be. There is a need to bring a certain degree of awareness within you so that you start dissociating yourself from your thoughts. Since thoughts are always dependent on your energy to run its full course of life, learn to stop giving them your mental energy, they will die their natural death. This stage is all about learning this craft. Keep practicing and you will get better with time.
Finally, removing your foot from the brake, mentally estimating the distance between your car and the next object in the line of your path, while keeping the wheels aligned and monitoring for oncoming traffic, dodging those garbage cans while balancing a delicate pressure between the gas pedal and brake. And not forgetting to tell your passenger (if they are brave enough to accompany you) to please stop fiddling with the radio.
Stage # 2
It’s nothing but your patience and perseverance that will help you make the transition to stage two. At this stage, the frequency of thoughts starts decreasing with simultaneous increase in the period of meditation.
You start getting the occasional glimpses of a mind free from thoughts, and this quietness of mind is possible because you start observing your mind instead of getting lost in it.
Subsequently, with more practice, you learn to decide when to let your thoughts enter your head space.
Once you attain mental quietude beyond the frequent activity of stage one, your meditation goes to an entirely new level and there is no going back. It is like milk has become curd now and no process can turn it back into the milk. At this stage, you will no longer have to deal with an onslaught of thoughts regardless of when you sit down to meditate.
While stage one is like the busy Heathrow International Airport, where as soon as the Air traffic controller manages to navigate a bunch of planes, the other bunch is already in the queue. The second stage becomes a lot like the somewhat manageable job of air traffic controllers at Manchester International Airport. Although the traffic is there, it isn't as busy as the Heathrow International Airport.
It starts looking a lot like the stage of your driving when you have successfully managed to get yourself comfortable in the driving seat — you are no longer intimidated by actions requiring multiple controls.
Stage # 3
At this stage, you learn to remain unaffected by waves of thoughts and accompanying emotions. Your mind starts witnessing unprecedented stillness. Which is often reflected in your behaviour, speech, and actions. You are now learning to channelize your thoughts at will.
Your mind remains unaffected by the rise and fall of thoughts and emotions. You will have rough periods but it will be far and few in between. Your energy will have the quieting effect on those around you. Your mind becomes like a sea, where occasionally there will be tides, but those tides will no longer define the identity of the sea.
It starts looking a lot like the advanced stage of driving where you start enjoying your drive. You are no longer distracted by radio or conversation with your fellow passengers.
While making your journey through stages, these five principles will guide you like Google maps.
1. Stop engaging with the Past
2. Stop creating your Future
3. Stop examination of Thoughts
4. Stop Creating an Experience
5. Stop involuntary wandering
The Practice Becomes The Way
With regular practice, your — meta-awareness — that is awareness about awareness starts improving a lot. As a consequence, your attention to the things that you chose to focus witness an unprecedented enhancement. It helps you discover your state of peace and bliss by transforming you into a person you would love to become.
Create mindful habits with our meditation challenges that will keep you on track and focused.