Meditating for dummies (Training your monkey mind)

Mandrill

So I saw this video recently where a monk (I think his name is Mingyur Rinpoche) explains meditation and how you don’t really need to blank out your mind, you just need to be able to focus your mind on one thing. Even if your mind wanders its fine, as long as you bring it back to that one thing.

In the video the monk explains how most people have the wrong impression about meditation, believing it to mean blank out your mind and think of nothing. Even I thought that was what meditation was all about, but apparently I was completely wrong. The monk calls it giving a job to your monkey mind. He explains how our brain keeps bombarding us with different thoughts (this is our monkey mind going blah blah blah over and over) so we give the monkey a job, like watch me breath; breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. You then just keep your mind on breathing and even if thoughts keep coming its okay, just bring the monkey back to breathing, breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. Like the monk says in the video, sometimes just giving the monkey a banana isn’t enough. So I keep talking about this video and this wise monk who explains meditation so nicely and I realise that you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Well just to make things clearer, here’s the video I keep mentioning.

You might be wondering what makes me bring this up at all. Well the thing is, I tried meditation before (in an effort to manage my anxiety) but for a long time I just kept failing, I just couldn’t blank out my mind entirely.  I’d keep thinking, why am I not getting this? Because of this I would get frustrated and just get more stressed and anxious, the exact opposite of what I was trying to achieve. So I gave up on it, but after watching the monk explain it, I think I might have a chance.

The video says I can do it anywhere, while I’m walking, while I’m sitting down, even in meetings. But I don’t think I’ll try that last one, I can just imagine my boss talking to everyone about what the company plans to do during the next few weeks, and there I am sitting with a blank look breathing in and out heavily. Afterwards, if I’m not ticked off for not paying attention, I’ll probably be branded as the office weirdo; talk about a tense working environment!

All jokes aside, I’m going to give this a shot. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’ll let you know later if this did anything for me or not. In fact why don’t you try it out yourself if you’re interested? Let me know if it worked out for you or not; after all there’s no harm in trying.

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