I have been interested in meditation for years, but it was only until fairly recently that I completed a Vedic meditation training here in NYC and committed to a regular practice.
In the Vedic tradition, a mantra is used to anchor the meditation. One of the biggest benefits of meditation, as far as I am concerned, is that it is a consciousness and practice of training the mind. I didn’t realize the full extent to which my mind was a wild animal until I began the practice of taming it. Jack Kornfield compares the mind in meditation to a puppy. It keeps trying to run off in different directions and you gently continue bringing it back.
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Thoughts used to keep me up at night as well as hook onto my moods and take them swinging through the vines of my mind. I never even entertained the notion that this would be something that I could control. But that is what meditation has helped me to do. This does not mean that my mind never wanders. I am still human. But I do not feel like I am at the mercy of my mind anymore. I don’t allow it to race when I am about to sleep, and I am able to recognize when I am feeling low and start to attach negative cognitions to the feeling, which feeds it and enables it to persist way more than it needs to.
Thoughts and feelings are like waves that rise from the vast reservoir of the mind and melt back to the source. This is happening all of the time. Tsunamis are in large part self imposed. The process of attaching to specific thoughts and feelings blocks the natural ebb and flow. Pressure builds and the wave grows until it crashes down.
There are many different types of meditation. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, but I strongly believe it is one of the most natural and powerful remedies that exists with respect to psychic suffering.
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David B. Younger, Ph.D, CGP, P.C.
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