Last week I asked you to practice and hopefully master how to keep your eyes closed without having to keep them close at a conscious level. This may seem unnecessary by the untrained mind, but freeing yourself from keeping up with a task as simple as keeping your eyes locked does become a distraction, especially if you free your mind and your eyes open by themselves when least expected.
If you missed this first part, I strongly suggest you go back through this link: (What you need to know..Pt 1 of 3) and learn this step before moving forward. Knowing this first part is essential for this second part to be effective. Otherwise, you may not successfully achieve what is intended to be learned from these lines.
If, on the other hand, you successfully implemented and mastered what is taught in part 1, today you are going to learn how to stay in a ‘blank state of mind‘ by getting rid of what is commonly known as your ‘monkey mind.’
The ‘monkey mind‘ is an urban term known when the mind keeps jumping from one thought to another while you try to stay still. Often times this ‘monkey mind‘ play tricks on you. As you try to stop the mind from unwanted thoughts, it goes even faster, jumping from one thought to another, kind of letting you know you are not in control. In fact, many times the frustration can overwhelm you, and you give up— sort of wanting you to do precisely that!
For many years I attempted fruitlessly to stop my ‘monkey mind‘ while trying to meditate, until one day, when I chose to take a different approach. This was probably led by my spiritual guides, but at the time I was ignorant to their existence, and purpose prior to July 7, 2011.
It occurred to me, while in bed before going to sleep, to imagine being in a production facility. Every time a thought came to mind, I would mentally place it in the conveyor belt and let it exit out of my mind. At first, it wasn’t much of a success, but eventually, the though kind of knew what was coming next and headed to the conveyor belt by itself. Nevertheless, the thoughts kept coming, and I saw no end to it.
Because this took patience and practice, many times I fell asleep while the conveyor belt was running wild with thoughts. I really wanted them to stop, but they were more powerful than me and many times I gave up as I fell asleep.
Then I tried a different approach. This time I imagined being at a meat processor factory and every time a new thought came to mind, I would hang it in one of those big hooks and drove it out of my mind. The idea was to give them a kind of penance for showing up. This modality kind of worked, but I personally felt this was not a good approach for me.
Then it occurred to me (or guide to it) to simply imagine a pure white room with two doors; one being the entry and the other the exit. Any time a thought came to mind, it could only come through the entry door and had to exit through the exit door immediately. No thought could enter this room, and if one ever did, it had to come through one door and exist right through the other.
You may be wondering by now, why not have a white room and no doors? Well, the thing is that without an entry and exit door, the thought would come from any direction and there would be no control.
This time it worked, but not without a good fight. Many where the times I had to let both doors open because it became mentally exhausting having to visualize opening and closing each door. Those were the many times the ‘monkey mind‘ got a fit and gave me hell for not wanting to be controlled. The point was to learn to ignore it until the mind realizes that the one in control was me.
The point in bringing to you my different approaches is for you to use your own imagination based on what suits you best. The idea is to control the mind, irrespectively of your tactics.
Once I understood that the white room worked for me—that is having better control of entry and exit—then I stuck with it as I mastered the technic. This is not something that can be accomplished overnight by many of us. It took full commitment on my part for weeks, months and a few years to fully master. What worked most for me was to do it at bedtime until I fell asleep. This helped me not to become frustrated…..only mentally tired, and then I fell asleep. I suggest you do the same.
Once I mastered the opening and closing of both doors in this pure white room, I purposely shut the entry door, and no thought was able to enter this room. At that point, I was able to freely close my eyes, be in this pure white room with no doors or walls, and allow myself to do what I will teach you over next week’s session.
Your homework for this week is to look for the best methodology that would work for you. There is no right or wrong, just be gentle with yourself in the way you get rid of your ‘monkey mind.’ In my case, just to give you an example, I didn’t feel comfortable while practicing under the meat processor factory scenario because I felt it had an adverse effect on me. Be gentle and positive, but firm.
Once you regain control of what comes to mind, you will be able to go to the next step (next week) which is to place yourself in this ‘blank state of mind’ many feel is impossible to achieve.
Notice here how I used the word “regain.” None of this is new to us. It is just that we forgot we always had control. Unfortunately, most of us have been socially and culturally influenced to believe many things that are not in conformity with the spiritual ways, and this is one of them.
Don’t necessarily expect that by next week you will be able to close your eyes and go into a blank state of mind. It takes practice….lots of practice. But to give you a point of reference, as I said before, it took me many weeks to regain partial control, a few more months to have full control and years to achieve what I can do today.
This is like dieting, exercising or practicing yoga—it takes time, commitment, perseverance, and habit forming to achieve what the great spiritual masters accomplished while on Earth. The question is: Are you ready to commit?
Next week I will show you what is to be in a ‘blank state of mind‘ and what meditation is all about. There are many misconceptions as to what meditation is and what it is for that need to be addressed.
Thank you for sharing time with me.
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