Our mind is like a glass of water in which dirt particles have been stirred. We cannot command the water to become clear, but if we allow the glass to sit for a while, the impurities may gradually settle to the bottom, or rise to the surface of their own accord, to be skimmed off.I've always liked the illustration of the dirty water being allowed to settle. It's so obvious, isn't it, that we can't pick individual particles out of water and clean it that way. Likewise, we can't force our mind to be clear and spacious. But we can stop stirring things up. Simply letting go of thoughts without judgment and gently returning to the meditation support allows the mind to settle. With practice it becomes habitual and a reliable way to refresh the mind.
We don't realise how restless the mind is. When we sit to meditate, we may be aghast to find how our consciousness seethes and roils with one idea after the other. But let us continue calmly to discipline this fractious colt, the mind! It will gradually behave, as we want it to.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Settling the restless mind
I found an article today from the Hindustan Times entitled "How to make meditation work". Here's an excerpt: