Meditation in Active Daily Life - Watching Thoughts
By Remez Sasson
Meditation is not reserved only for people living in an ashram or a cave, or for people whose sole interest is spirituality. It benefits the most practical person, and also the most visionary one.
You can practice meditation in your active daily life, even if you work, study or are busy all day long. For results, you need to practice meditation daily.
On the physical level, meditation relaxes the body, replenishes it with vitality, and restores its energy, health and balance.
On the emotional and mental level, it reduces anxiety, worry and anger, and brings peace of mind, tolerance, patience, and good will toward the surrounding world.
On the spiritual level, meditation awakens awareness of the real inner Self, the inner consciousness, which is beyond the mind.
Meditation also improves the memory and the concentration, and allows for clearer thinking.
Meditation in Daily Life
Meditation has nothing to do with impracticality, absentmindedness and laziness, as some might believe. You do not have to live a secluded life, own nothing, and stay away from any activity in order to meditate and lead a spiritual life. You can live an ordinary life, with a job and family, and yet, at the same time meditate and lead an intensive spiritual life.
You can wear a robe or other special clothes, grow your hair, light candles and incense or sit on the floor when you meditate, but you can also spend your day in an office, wear a suit and sit on a chair when you mediate. The outside cover and trimming are not really important. It is the attitude and what goes inside you that count.
Proper and effective meditation requires some inner strength. There has to be ambition, desire, willpower, drive and perseverance. All these qualities are in fact the same basic qualities needed for success in the material world.
Even if you have a job, run a business or pursue a career, you will benefit from this practice. It will not turn you into an indifferent, ambitionless and impractical person. It will add to your common sense, develop intuition and energize you. The concept that meditation is not for practical people is utterly wrong.
I would like now to suggest a simple meditation technique, which involves watching your thoughts calmly, as if they do not belong to you.
Watching Thoughts Meditation
This is a simple, effective and practical technique that will strengthen your concentration and add to your peace of mind, besides other benefits. To get results, you will need to practice daily for about ten minutes each time.
The purpose of this meditation is to watch your thoughts with detachment. This will help you calm down your mind and teach it to be less restless.
1) Find a place where you can be alone.
2) Sit down and pay attention to your body. Relax your muscles and ease any physical tension.
3) Breathe a few deep breaths.
4) Watch your thoughts as if watching an uninteresting movie. Regard your thoughts as birds hovering around a crumb of bread. This crumb of bread is your attention. They are all seeking your attention. They will bring associations, images and feelings. Your job is to stay detached and disregard all these thoughts. Just watch them with no interest.
When you meditate, a lot of thoughts rise, trying to make you forget to meditate. If you give in to these thoughts, you will make no progress. If you keep bringing your mind to the meditation, in spite of the distractions of the mind, your thoughts will eventually give in.
You are not your thoughts. They are like visitors, who come to visit your mind. It is you, the real you, watching these thoughts. Just look at your thoughts, watch your thoughts, as if you are watching some far away, uninteresting scene. If they force you to follow them, ask them who is the boss, you or they?
Stay relaxed and don't get tense. Do not fight your thoughts or get angry and frustrated if you cannot stay away from them. It is a natural habit to let every thought enter freely into the mind. It takes time and effort to change this habit. The secret of success with this exercise is detachment.
Go on practicing this meditation, even if you fail and forget to watch the thoughts. Your resolve, patience and perseverance will eventually bring you peace of mind, concentration, composure, happiness and consciousness of you real inner self.