We know that the goal of meditation is to enter into a completely vacant, still and silent mind.
Yet even after years of practise, I am still being bothered by thoughts and distractions. Does this mean I am a useless meditator, wasting my time?
Not at all! To be able to silence the mind at will is a monumental achievement requiring an enormous effort of will, practise and persistence.
From an early age we have deliberately loaded our minds up with facts and falsehoods, details and data, theories, philosophies, beliefs and an ever-mounting mountain of useless information. If our mind is a monster, it is a monster of our own making.
Consider how much effort has been poured into making our mind so active and complex. Now we are telling that same mind: “Please be silent.” Impossible and absurd!
It is like standing in front of a train going at 200 kph and asking it to stop on the spot. It cannot be done. Slowly and gradually the train has to slow down and eventually be brought to a standstill. Similarly, we cannot hope for the mind to cease its activity all at once. Instead, like the train, we need first to slow the mind down. We do this by focusing the mind on one thing: a mantra, our breath, slow counting, a flower or a candle flame. Only once we can effectively focus the mind on ONE thing, can we hope to then empty the mind of all thoughts.
Meditation is not just about quieting our mind: it is more about entering and opening our spiritual heart.
Don’t worry about thoughts and distractions. Focus more on your heart. Your heart will gladly, lovingly take care of your mind.
Just step back and allow it to.