Monday, June 13, 2011

A Benefit Of Meditation

If the average person realized how little conscious control they have over their own minds, I imagine they'd be a little scared.  In my case, this realization unfolded slowly in a type of recurring situation where I only thought I had control over my own mind, and was proven wrong.  I often look at myself and other people, and I'm frequently amazed at how little self-awareness people tend to have.  It often makes me think, "WTF??? Don't they understand the way they behave???"

It's usually not long after that I turn such attention back on myself.  This has been especially true lately, as I've been examining my mannerisms to see if I am off-putting, or socially awkward.  I'll act out some kind of social behavior and then wonder why I did that, as it made no sense in the grander scheme of things.

I'm not saying that I am some big self-aware being or anything, because I'm most certainly not.  Most of my life I've struggled with being in control of just my emotions, nevermind the rest of my...well, mind.  However, I have begun to reap the benefits of meditation!

It took me a surprisingly long time to find instruction for solid meditation practice from a reputable source that didn't fill the whole concept up with a bunch of new age claptrap.  But when I did, it was zazen!  Oh, the bliss of simple awareness meditation!  And when I first began reading TSS, I wasn't surprised that Jason recommends meditation first and foremost among any other practices.  His meditation technique was similar to what I had already done, and so it was easy to switch.

Previously I had gotten hints that my meditation practice was benefitting me, but today I had solid proof.  See, I have Attention Deficit Disorder.  When you have ADD, the term 'Monkey Mind' doesn't quite do it justice.  It's already tough to keep focused on one thing, but on top of that, being an emotionally-driven person is very difficult.  Basically, your emotions can easily make you their bitch.  And this afternoon, one small rock of a thought caused a splash that stirred up a whirlpool.

It was actually causing me anxiety.  I actually felt my mind stirring up and going into chaos.  I sat there for a minute or two experiencing it.  Then I remembered my lessons from Strategic Sorcery, and especially a set of affirmations taught by Jason called the 'Litany of the Mirror'.  I remembered and reaffirmed that my mind is indeed like a mirror, and that the storm going on around "me" was not actually me.  I considered that "storm" and considered that it was nothing.  Just reflections.

And something great happened: Like a pot of boiling water being taken off of the mind calmed down, and everything shortly smoothed out.  I was left feeling completely calm and unbothered.  When I realized what I had just done, I couldn't help but give in to my emotions just a little bit and smile!



  1. Hey- I've used the Litany of the Mirror to good effect as well! It has the same calming power as the NAP Power Ritual for me. And I have often wondered about the similarities between the two. The Litany Against Fear from Dune is also a powerful invocation in its own right!

  2. I've often thought about the Litany Against Fear in relation to the Mirror Litany. In fact, I've been thinking of trying it out when faced with a common fear situation, like something social that evokes anxiety.

    One thing I would like to specify is that, with the situation I described in the post, I didn't actually say the litany to myself. I usually practice it with my meditations, but this time I simply reminded myself of the basic lesson: My mind is like a mirror, all these thoughts and emotions are mere reflections, not me.

  3. I've been fortunate to have met so many people that beat the idea of regular meditation into my head, Jason included. My monkey-mind is always looking for the "next cool thing" to practice; I'd have missed out on the benefits of meditation entirely otherwise.