Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mind Matters - -

Ideas To Master The Mind

Meditation in one form or another has become quite the ‘in’ thing over the last few years. People rush home and meditate for half an hour, either when they reach home, or half an hour before bedtime. Some prefer to meditate first thing in the morning, as soon as they rise.

But how much good do they really do themselves? Do they really come anywhere near the condition where they master the mind? They meditate, say first thing in the morning, and for a few minutes, feel lovely and calm. Then they have to face the hurly-burly of the day. How much of the meditation is actually sticking, as it were?

The Buddhists have been at this for 2,500 years. Two thousand years ago, the old Celts were still rushing around in woad and bashing each other over the head with any heavy object they could find. The big problem that we have is mental discipline. It takes so little to distract us and all that meditation we did before going out that morning has really been for nothing.

Buddhism’s emphasis on psychology is unique. The basic teachings persuade meditators to shake off suffering and discover happiness. As the Buddha stated, our default mode may be to suffer, but only because of our ignorance. We can float above the clouds by quieting the mind, letting go of bad mental habits, while on the way relaxing and coping with stress.

The Buddhist doesn’t use meditation as an end in itself, but to investigate the mind and change his worldview. Meditation isn’t tuning things out, but improving your capacity for the expansion of thought. Self improvement translates into ‘bhavana,’ which is the Sanskrit word for meditation, although it literally means ‘cultivation.’ It has the same connotation as when we say we’re going to ‘cultivate a garden.’

It’s interesting to note that Western psychologists are still very wrapped up in treating the mentally ill, rather than improving the lives of those who are mentally sound. I quite understand what they mean by this criticism, but the poor old mentally ill person needs to be treated. Period. There’s no point in having half the population in a state of high mental health and advancement, while the other half is suffering from anxiety, depression and goodness knows what other mental ailments.

Western science also has the idea that we all have a set point of well-being and that love and happiness merely happen to us. This, without the use of meditation, is perfectly true. We drift through life, hoping to find happiness through love, wealth, health, etc., when if meditation is applied correctly, we can be masters of our own ships, so to speak.

But we come full circle to the point where what we benefit from meditation must change our minds for the better—despite all the troubles and problems that the day might hurl at us.

Buddhists have developed such a high state of mental discipline, that they may indeed direct their minds to much higher plains. It’s well worth a visit to Mike Bond’s website, The Hypnosis Attraction, where you may read a lot more about the mind, how to control it and how you may benefit from doing so.

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