Where the mind goes

Recently, a student admitted that during meditation, his mind did not necessarily stay focused where it was supposed to be but that it nonetheless provided him with very clear thinking while he meditated. He seemed to feel guilty that his mind was not behaving as instructed.

That’s really OK. Especially when you’re just beginning to meditate, it’s an accomplishment simply to get your mind to calm down to the point where clear thoughts arise. This isn’t the goal, of course, but it’s the first step in the long journey. The student was telling me that he was on the path, which is wonderful! As the Chinese say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

When you find your mind wandering off the path, however, it’s best to gently and kindly remind it where it is going. Always be kind to yourself, which includes your mind; it may help to treat the wandering mind the way you would treat a beloved toddler, gently but firmly showing it how to walk, and where, knowing that these tiny steps are the beginning of a life journey that, it is hoped, will take that child far, safely, to many wonderful destinations.

 

 

The Dalai Lama on Inner Science

“In this century, human knowledge is extremely expanded and developed, but this is mainly knowledge of the external world. In the field of what we may call “inner science”, dealing with inner things, there are many things, I think, that you do not know. You spend a large amount of the best human brain-power looking outside. Too much. And it seems you do not spend adequate effort to look within, to think inwardly….Perhaps now that the Western sciences have reached down into the atom and out into the cosmos, finally to realize the extreme vulnerability of all life and value, it is becoming credible, even obvious, that the inner science is of supreme importance. Certainly physics designed the bombs, biology, the germ warfare, chemistry, the nerve gas and so on. But it will will the unhealthy emotions of individual that will trigger these horrors. These emotions can only be controlled, re-shaped, re-channeled, by technologies developed from successful inner science.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, speaking at Harvard University

from the Institute of Qigong and Integrative Medicine, www. iqim.org, “Qigong for Better Relationships”, 2007