freight train of the mind

Stopping the freight train of the mind

It is not always easy to meditate in daily life. There are responsibilities and commitments that are so time-consuming. 

But when there is a group of like-minded people who all want to train their minds in a conducive environment together, that's a golden opportunity. So finding a group locally in your area to meditate with is very helpful for your practice. Meditating together helps us water the good seeds within us - that's because your presence in the circle helps each one of us feel a sense of community and belonging, something we all yearn for. 

If you cannot make it to a group meditation due to other commitments and reasons, or there isn't a group nearby, do take time to refine your practice, nevertheless. Use a guided meditation from YouTube or sit quietly in your room and gently bring awareness to your breath for 10 minutes. 

These 10 minutes will go a long way, especially when done every day. And it is not about having the perfect 10 minutes - that's too heavy of an expectation for our practice. The only thing to do is - Show Up to our meditation practice. Even if those 10 minutes are full of a wandering mind, so be it. At least you showed up and made a meaningful effort to calm the mind. 

This reminds me of a story I heard one of the monks relay. There was a man who got a job and he showed up on Monday for work. At the end of the day, he returned home to his wife and complained that he didn't get paid and was thinking of not going to work the next day. On Tuesday, he did go to work but came home empty-handed. The next day, he did a whole day's of work yet no paycheck. He told his wife that he still didn't get renumerated for his hard work and was thinking of quitting. On Friday, he managed to bring himself to work and put in an honest effort. 

As he was leaving, he was stopped by his boss. She gave him his paycheck! Delighted, the man went home happy to his wife.

Sometimes, we too, think of our meditation like this man. On day one we want a calm, peaceful mind and go into deep meditative states. Each day we think - ah, it's not bringing me any results, why meditate? But it is only after repetitive training of the mind that it learns to quiet down. How quickly it calms down has at least something to do with how long and how fast it has been running around all those years. Just like bringing a bicycle to a complete stop is far easier than bringing a freight train to a stop, bringing a mind habituated to wandering takes longer to slow down than a mind that has been practicing for a while.

Eventually, one day you will experience peace and serenity and delight of the mind that surpasses all other worldly pleasures and comforts. So let's help ourselves now by training our minds slowly and gradually.

Much love,

Sophia