Articles Related to Meditation, Relaxation and Focus
The following articles on meditation and self-mastery may be of interest.
The Mind is Like a Frisky Monkey | Relaxing with the TAO Totem
Focusing on What You Want | Master the Senses
The Mind is Like a Frisky Monkey
People are often discouraged about the results of their meditative efforts. They feel that they are not only not relaxed, but anxious because they couldn't focus at all. Well, to quote one of my favorite teachers, George Curnoles, "Your mind is like a frisky monkey. Don't beat your monkey."
No, that's not an R-rated statement, but a realistic way to look at how your mind works. Do you find yourself unable to focus on the goal of your meditation, whether it is a candle light, a sound, a thought, a concept? Then your mind is just acting normally. Our minds and thought processes are so complex, that we can literally hold multi-dimensional focuses at the same time.
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When you let yourself relax in your meditation, you mind will often head off in the direction of that latest thought, image, sound, dream or problem you're working on. If you are at an early phase of developing your meditation skills, just let the mind go. Here's the secret: go ahead and follow the thought rather than wrench yourself back with frustration to the original goal.
So, how will you be able to control your thoughts and direct your meditations if you do this? Easy. While you let your mind take those avenues of exploration, just pay attention. Instead of waking up in a few minutes to realize that you are no longer where you wanted to focus, just follow the trail. Then see if you can follow the trail backwards to the point you diverted from your goal. This will develop a strong focused mind and in no time at all, you'll be a successful, focused meditator.
Using this approach, the Basic Meditation Technique can be quickly learned since you'll avoid the frustration of fighting your wandering mind and simply follow it's wanderings, gently bringing the mind back to your intended focus.
Remember, let that friskly monkey romp in the beginning. Soon, he'll settle down.
Relaxing with the TAO Totem
Learning to relax with the help of the meditation tool, a TAO Totem, is at the very heart of all of its other uses. In fact, it's the first step when you learn how to focus and develop habit control, relaxation, reduction of stress and pain management. When you learn to relax through association, in less than a minute with the aid of your TAO Totem, you are ready to move on to creating life as you wish to see it by embracing self-control, focus and relaxation.
To understand how to relax, to meditate, to reduce stress in your life, you need to understand how your brain works. Your brain is like a busy switchboard that processes thousands of calls every minute. These switches send messages throughout your body. Some of your mental switches operate automatically, but you can consciously control the others. Breathing, heartbeat, and most physical reflexes are controlled by automatic switches in one part of your brain.
The other part of your brain, known as the cognitive brain, however, is usually very busy processing all kinds of information related and unrelated. You can control these other activities to a considerable degree. Seeing, hearing, feeling, and thinking are examples of this brain activity that you can control.
How do you take charge of your cognitive brain? It's simple: relaxation and focusing your attention. You must relax your body and mind, clearing the distractions, and then focus on the task you wish to accomplish. Use the Basic Relaxation Technique to help you achieve a deep sense of awareness and the ability to relax at will.
While many people have a hard time relaxing, any technique that allows you relaxation and better focusing will enhance your success rate, reduce your stress, help you sleep better and manage physical pain more easily.
Once you have learned to associate your TAO Totem with relaxation, you can relax within 15 to 30 seconds -- whenever and wherever you happen to be -- so that focusing becomes easier. Using your TAO Totem, one of the best meditation tools available, will help you relax for one or two minutes once or twice a day, reduce stress, break negative habits and focus on your goals for success.
Focusing on What You Want
When you meditate on all that you want in life, you will find that your desire turns into the decisions that bring about success. From this perspective you could say that all of life is a decision. We can make anything we want happen once we have decided to make it so.
Everyone sets personal goals at some time during their life. New Year resolutions, which are goals, are made and remade year after year. Some goals are lofty in nature, some are more mundane. Focusing on affirmations is a type of personal goal. In order to reach these goals, you need to develop the ability to focus your attention on those goals.
Setting goals is easy. Focusing on achieving those goals takes a bit more doing. Setting goals and not achieving them leads to frustration and often an "I give up!" attitude. Havng a mental focus to remind you of your goals can you help achieve any goal by allowing your focus to sharpen through relaxation. One of the most effective focusing tools is the TAO Totem.
In reaching personal goals, success breeds success. The more successes you achieve, the easier the next success will become. You achieve those goals when you learn to focus clearly and sharply.
Your TAO Totem can be a great help in making decisions by removing distractions and clearing your mind, allowing you to relax into the decision-making process. This greatly improves your ability to properly evaluate each decision
Keep your TAO Totem with you to help you clear your mind, to help you relax. Experts estimate that most of us use only about 10% of our brain power. Your TAO Totem as a meditation tool can be the key that helps you unlock your untapped mental capacity.
Mastering the Senses
All of our senses draw us to our memories, our dreams, our fantasies. When we control the senses, those memories and dreams emerge into reality, into manifestation. Learn to control your senses and you'll learn to create your destiny.
Control can be used harshly or it can be like building the banks of your river to flow your life force where you want it to go. In the TAO there is reference to not "pushing the river." Clear imagery, isn't it? Going with the flow is so much the better approach.
The secret to recognizing the flow is being the flow. And the magic to the secret is embracing and understanding the senses, mastering the senses and using the senses to become the flow.
When you are able to maintain visual focus on an external object and then create internal images of focus, you are directing your mind toward the visualization of your intentions.
Listening to sounds and maintaining pure, unfettered listening without a wandering of the mind is the control you seek for creating strong intentions. When we can follow a sound without being carried away, we are in control.
Scent is a strong generator of memories. We all have those fragrances, aromas, smells that give us a visceral reaction. While meditating once, I experienced the most ethereal, beautiful fragrance I had ever smelled before or since. This aromatic sensation was so powerful, I can retrieve the memory of the deep meditation that triggered this fragrance and go that deep again with little effort.
Learn to recognize how the senses impact your life and you will deepen your awareness and enhance your meditation experience.