You Neither Succeed Nor Fail at Meditation

Mindfulness heralds change through an awareness of the present

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay
It’s no riddle only awareness

Sometime we sit and it really is some time before we realise that our point of focus has vanished only to be replaced with thoughts. In the early stages of practicing meditation we might think of this as failure; that the mind isn’t strong enough to hold our point of focus. In one respect only is this correct.

Holding a point of focus does take mental strength

Even so, we mustn’t think that if we’re unable to hold our point of focus (let’s say the end of the nose) for very long, that this is failure. It simply is the fact that until we’ve built our mental strength we will only be able to hold attention – single pointedly – for brief spells. Over time this improves.

Our meditation will change from one day to the next

The whole point of meditation is to become aware of the changing nature of the mind. The more we have going on in our lives the more crowded our thoughts. This will be observed during meditation and as we practice every day we will become aware of how the level of focus required (to bring the mind back on point) also changes according to the level of activity in our brains.

It is counter productive to judge

An overly active mind that proves difficult to bring on point is this way because of judgement. We mustn’t work hard at bringing the mind on point and then judge this as a failure if it refuses. In fact, the more we work at focusing, the harder it seems to get. It can seem that the mind has become more determined at wandering off. A little like a belligerent child or a wayward puppy that won’t come to heal. If we become emotional with the child or puppy training becomes an effort. It becomes hard. So we mustn’t make a judgement we must just observe and notice the wandering nature of the mind, once we do this, we’re able to bring it back. As with any training, repetition is key.

Remember: our repetition isn’t the key to succeeding or accomplishing anything, it is simply an effortless means, of raising our awareness.

Raising awareness heralds change

So now that we’re aware of the nature of mind, how it craves for stimulation and activity, we’re better able to bring the mind to where we want it. And where we want it is the present moment. Fully engaged in the present moment we’re not worrying about the future or judgmentally replaying the past. Absolutely, mindfully in the present, we’re not wanting or seeking something different from now, we’re mindfully staying away from replaying past hurts or regrets. Free from thoughts and emotions of past or future we’re fully alive in the present moment now. Mindfulness heralds change through an awareness of the present.

It’s when the mind is wandering that stagnation in the present occurs

Of course we must first dream of a better future and then we must take action. If we stay in wonderland the future remains a fantasy. Down the rabbit hole is a useful place for the fearful or unwell who need to escape their reality. As for the rest of us, we must stay at the surface of our awareness, and mindfulness from meditation is the tool.

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