Meditation is getting a lot of press lately. I have a meditation practice and feel that I get a lot of benefit from it.
In a recent Scientific American article they reported the findings that through different meditations we can create changes in our mind depending on how we practice.
The type of meditation I practice helps change one’s relationship to thinking and the capacity to disconnect from thoughts and be more present. This has been a very helpful skill. Much like lifting weights or working out, we can strengthen any aspect of our brains that we practice.
It is the same with the practice of Inquiry Method, we can retrain our brains to be curious and engage life and people with a sense of wonder. We can develop the capacity to open ourselves and others.
In the current interest around meditation another important daily practice may get obscured or lost: contemplation.
Contemplation differs from meditation in that, instead of quieting thought, we examine and engage with thought. By giving time in our day that is unfilled by stimulation and activity we can tap into the useful contemplative and reflective mind.
The practice of contemplation is also clearing the mind. Your mind has a job to do. It is to make you aware of important activities, events, actions, and perceptions; it is there to help you work through problems and plan future actions, to remember people in your life and warn of potential issues. It is there to create personal vision and intention. It is there to help you.
If it does not get its say, a good hearing, it will impose this unaddressed thinking at inappropriate times, interrupt sleep, relationships, even feel like a nagging awareness in the background. This background sensation may create a feeling of anxiety, stress, or the sense of things undone.
Take some time for contemplation daily. Today I took a pad of paper to my favorite coffee shop (Mix), I got quiet and gave my mind some free reign, I let it go where it wanted, I wrote notes, allowed it to solve problems, gave it a listen. I left feeling clearer, refreshed, inspired; I took some actions, made some choices, my path seemed clearer, I knew myself better.
Just like a child that is ignored, your mind will be incessant in its interruptions until you take the time to listen. It is on your side, it may have some funny ideas but you may find it more peaceful if you give it a listen.
Give your mind a hearing and see what it has to say.