The Art Of Intentional Meditation
I was having a wonderful conversation with my hubs about meditation. We had just finished a game of Funglish and the conversation turned to thought control. I suggested creating a meditation practice to assist with this. He explained his woes toward meditation, which is one that I often hear others give, "I can't clear my mind".
Let me help you out - in meditation - you don't have to clear your mind.
I gently began to explain to my husband, if we clear our mind, what lessons would we learn in our practice of meditation? Instead, when we bring intention to our thoughts we begin to create an openness to respond to them, instead of react.
Think about it like this, if you take your meditation to a picturesque scene, such as a beach, and you picture the waves of the ocean - then you see a bird - then your mind flips to the bird attacking a family on the beach who are choosing to feed it chips - then your mind moves to chips and the large list of grocery items you need to purchase - next thing you know you see your extensive to do list and *BING*! Your five minute alarm rings and your meditation is over.
Now you feel defeated, you react. You judge yourself on how terrible at meditating you are and what a waste of time it was. Now, does this seem like a successful or even delightful meditation? Does it seem like something you would want to repeat? My guess is, probably not.
As we attempt this meditation again we utilize a different mindset, a more intentional process of meditation. First, the understanding of meditation - we are not attempting to clear our mind, but instead respond to our thoughts. We are attempting to practice intentional thought.
Here's our outcome utilizing this mindset. We sit and picture the same ocean waves, the same bird comes in to play, the same thought of the bird attacking a family feeding it chips and here is where it changes, we notice.
We notice as our thought begins to wander off to somewhere outside of our intention. What do we do to shift it? We begin again. We hone in on our breath, our steady, constant, breath. We think to ourselves, "I inhale, I exhale". Once we feel our breath and our awareness coming back to our intention we begin our meditation again. We reconnect and picture the ocean again....
This exercise may take days, weeks, or months before we move past the ocean, but we understand we are learning a great deal of intentional thinking and how to respond to our thoughts instead of react to them. We may begin to enjoy this intentional form of thinking as it seeps into our daily life. Our decisions begin to become more intentional and less reactive the more we practice the art of intentional thinking meditations. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you experience. As always, the conversation cont