The Sound of Silence: Opus 15
March 30, 2013
Plenty of people come to my yoga and meditation classes with one question: How do I get the voices in my mind to shut off?
The answer isn’t a simple one, because meditation isn’t about shutting down your cognitive mind. The river of thoughts known as the deductive/cognitive mind practically runs on its own volition. Thoughts move through the mind having many kinds of probable stimulus. You could smell a fragrance and the mind will, on its own volition, follow a thought that reminds you of that smell. You can hear a sound that brings up a recollection of person. Then your mind, again without your help, will move into the neuro-pathway that is connected to that sound. This isn’t of your conscious choosing.
So, the magic to understanding the quieting of the mind is not to stop the thoughts, but to rise above them and observe them. It is in the observation, the human mind and thoughts can be dismissed, like the sound of a young toddler asking a myriad of simple questions you’ve already answered one hundred times. You simply stop paying total attention to them and focus on something else, in this case—the spiritual.
Most meditative practices begin with a focus on the breath. When you make the inhales and exhales 6 counts in and 6 counts out: (1) you let the cognitive mind take control of the reptilian brain and body; (2) you slow down your heart rate; and (3) you lower your blood pressure. All of these things lead to a more relaxed, more empowered you.
The next step you do is to stop the control of the breath after about 3-5 minutes of breath work. When you let your body breathe on its own volition, you begin to learn to watch the inhales and exhales and make your body your own behavior study. You watch your body as if it is someone else. The further you can get from control of the body, the more meditative you’ll become.
Let each limb of your body hang as if it were first being controlled by puppeteer strings, and then cut off completely from the strings. They can’t move because your brain won’t let them. This part of your steering mechanism has been shut down.
Now the last part of a deep meditation is the focus on spiritual movement through the brain and into a positive, compassionate dream. You want to ask your brain to stop telling you what its thinking and begin to express with pictures in an imaginary mirror in front of you or reflecting off of a beautiful lake. Shut down the part of your mind that listens to your thoughts and focus fully on making your thoughts into pictures in front of your. Focusing your attention instead of your eyes as if there is something reflective exactly face to face with you.
When your body quiets enough, the physical eyes will begin to shut down and the mental pictures will begin to appear before you. If you can stay awake during this process, then you are meditating. If you fall asleep, you may have a beautiful dream that can also lead you to spiritual insight, but most yogis would not consider this a meditation.
I hope you have a great practice. Namaste.
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.
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