We know that effective meditation requires a clear mind. Yet to ‘clear the mind’ is far easier said, than done.
It is not enough simply to sit and hope the mind will empty of its own accord. There are always thoughts, distractions and desires queuing up to enter an unoccupied mind – just as dust will always gather on neglected surfaces and weeds will invade an untended garden. To clear the mind requires concentration. Concentration is not a static state: it is a dynamic momentum, a conscious and continuous act of will.
Thoughts travel at high speed: to elude them, we must simply be faster. Distractions are ever alert to snatch our attention: to overcome them we must be more vigilant than they. Desires are cunning to exploit our every weakness: to transcend them we must be stronger, wiser, more patient and determined.
Here are a few methods, to help maintain flow and momentum in our concentration, to outpace and outsmart our mind’s would-be captors:
a) Listen intently to the sound of your own heartbeat, excluding all else.
b) Imagine your mind is inside a giant powerful vacuum cleaner, sucking out its contents faster than they can appear.
c) You are a rocket soaring ever higher and beyond a vast, radiant blue sky, outpacing all.
d) Conjure the face of the most beautiful, pure, luminous, divine being, losing yourself in wondrous rapture.
d) Breathe in and become the fragrance of the most sublime rose within your heart.
e) You are a thundering mighty waterfall. Your force, power, might, volume and intensity overwhelm all else.
f) You are a ceaseless fountain of light, no speck of shadow in your sight.
g) Dive and immerse yourself in the inner ‘Aum’ that reverberates in the silent heart of all beings.