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Meditation Teacher Mark's Blog

Meditation to Still the Mind?

Thursday 1st October 2009

One of the things I hear a lot is the idea that you have to "still the mind". It's in a lot of books (some of which are very old). However one of the realisations you can make when meditating is that you are more than your mind and that there is an amazing stillness which is untouched by thought. The mind itself - by it's very nature - is movement. It is the flow of thoughts through it that animate it. So the idea that you can still the mind is fundamentally flawed.

It is more accurate to say that "a person becomes still by focussing on the stillness that is present instead of focussing on the mind which is perpetual movement".

Many people have been given well intentioned, but unhelpful advice... like "you must still the mind" or "If there are thoughts then you're doing it wrong" and naturally trying to follow this advice just creates dissapointment and holds you back. It's a shame that so many people give themselves a hard time over their mind in meditation when they don't need to... all because of a mis-interpretation.

I teach people from all kinds of backgrounds how to discover the stillness that is already present and ultimately how to discover a stillness and peace that transcends the mind.

One way of thinking about the nature of the mind and how to become still (while accepting the mind is motion) is to consider a fish tank:

"The tank contains water and fish. Fish are like thoughts and when people look at a tank they are naturally drawn to the fish because they move and have a definate form. They seldom notice the water which surrounds and supports the fish. Meditation is like learning how to notice the water, without having to remove the fish from the tank in the process!"

I hope this helps you.

Peace and Love

Posted by Mark Zaretti at 21:05

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