Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Clear Mind Leads To A More Pleasant Experience

You won't ever find me sitting with my legs crossed and arms out in the generalized view of how one meditates.  Instead, you'll find me drawing, painting, playing music, swimming, exercising...  All of these activities allow me to clear my mind.  My meditation is about clearing my mind of the distractions that cause me to stumble through my daily activities.  My art is a product of my meditation.

One of my favorite places to clear my mind is under water.  When I can hear my own heart beating and the blood flowing through my body, it's easier for me to focus and forget the outside world.

I'd like to share a method of "mind clearing" I enjoy and find very effective for quick results when the day requires nearly all of my available time.  My work can be very intense at times and the intensity can be sustained for many, many hours and last well beyond an 8 hour work day.  (I'm not sure what an 8 hour workday feels like anymore...)

OK...  HERE IT IS:   Mind Clearing Method - The Sponge
     How do you do it?

First -  Find a place where you can be alone (at least mentally, if not physically.)
     This can be anywhere, your car, cubicle, bathroom, shower, outside, bedroom...  As long as you can eliminate distractions fully.

Second -  Control your breathing.
    This helps eliminate distractions and brings your thoughts to you and your body.  Breath deep, deliberate and slow.  Concentrate on breathing in, full breaths into your belly if necessary.  Then, out... let it all out, but there is no need to strain to push all the air out.

Third -  Imagine a sponge, the kind that is used to absorb liquid, not the sea creature.
   Now, when you breath in imagine the sponge filling.  Breath out and imagine the sponge being squeezed out/empty.  Do this until all of your attention is on the filling and emptying of the sponge.

Fourth -  Visualize clean water coming into the sponge and dirty water coming out as you breath in and out.
     This is when you start to really feel the affects of the meditation technique.  At this point you are able to control how fully you will clear your mind.  It is where you can adjust the level of focus depending upon the struggles that are causing your mind to be muddy.  
     As I breath in, I visualize the sponge filling with clean thoughts as it expands.  When I exhale, I let all of the "dirty" thoughts flow out of the sponge, down the drain.  Breath in, and more "clean" thoughts fill the sponge.  Out, and the "dirty" thoughts come out a little more diluted.  It's important to visualize the "dirty" thoughts (I visualize water) coming out more and more "clean."  The goal is to clean the sponge (your mind) of the distractions (dirt.)

When the sponge is clean, you are done.  Well, unless the dirty water (thoughts) didn't really go down the drain.  This is what determines how long you must "meditate."

Hope this helps.

Please, share your meditation tips.  I'm sure there are many ways that work.

©scott garrette  2013

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