Helping Factors in Stilling the Mind
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
More and more people today are learning the technique of meditation as research continues to validate the physical, mental and emotional benefits that can be experienced through meditation. Above all benefits, the main reason that we should learn to meditate is for our spiritual well-being. Meditation nourishes our soul, and when the soul is healthy, we experience physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
One of the keys to success in meditation is our ability to still the mind. Yet, anyone who has tried to meditate will attest to the challenges of this undertaking. Let us take a look at the factors that interfere with keeping the mind still and explore how we can minimize and eliminate these distractions.
Have a Clear Goal
One distraction arises from our not having a clear sense of our goal in meditation. Our spiritual goal is to move the soul toward union with God. We are easily distracted from our goal by outer distractions. Sitting with this clear goal in mind will help us be diligent in putting in time for our meditation and will steer us to cultivate a ruling passion to keep the goal foremost in our life.
Focus, Focus, Focus
With a clear goal in mind, we should sit so that we do not waver in our attention at all during the duration of our time in meditation. We should stay focused. We should continue to keep our gaze focused in the field lying in front of us when our eyes are closed, without a break. We should continue to gaze within without a break no matter how our mind tries to interrupt us with thoughts. If we could do this, we would have more success in our meditation and our spiritual progress would come more quickly.
Embed the Ethical Virtues
Another helping factor to still the mind is to lead our life according to positive qualities, such as nonviolence, humility, love for all, and selfless service. We should strive to lead a life wherein our thoughts, words and deeds are nonviolent, humble and focused on God. We should treat others the way we want to be treated, in a loving, caring way.
Love and Respect God’s Creation
In this world, while we are all the same at the level of the soul, our outer coverings may be different. Genetically, we are 99% to 99.9% the same according to the findings of the Genome Project, and it is only from 1% to .1% that is different; this small amount of difference accounts for our shape, size, and the outer color of our eyes, skin, and hair.
In other words, we are more alike than different, and all humanity is part of one family.
While appreciating differences as adding to the diversity and beauty of life, just as we appreciate the differences between roses of different colors, we should also recognize our oneness and treat all people with love as members of one family, as love is the prerequisite for union of our soul with God.
We should aspire to be of service to each other, whenever possible, and to alleviate the pain and suffering of others, by serving selflessly.
As we introduce these helping factors into our lives, we will begin to lead calmer, peaceful and more loving lives. We will have fewer thoughts and distractions during the day, which will help us still the mind when we sit down to meditate.
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What is God’s game of love? It is the game wherein we experience God’s love for ourselves, and radiate that love to all around us. This love is not only between God and each created being. It is also having love for the entire family of God.
Just as we cannot see the seeds in the ground that later sprout into buds and flowers, we may not see the fruits of our meditation right away. But with diligent practice the blossoms will appear.
In these troubled times, humanity is witnessing a growing hunger for peace and human unity. We are realizing that our survival depends upon us recognizing that we are all one family.
Using an engaging anecdote that focuses on possessions, a family and camels, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji highlights the rewards of selfless giving.
When we focus on examining our thoughts, we need to evaluate what aspects of ourselves we want to cleanse. We need to understand what is cluttering our minds and hearts and keeping us from opening up to God’s love.
Many only want to serve God directly. We do not realize that it is also God’s work to serve God’s creation. Each day, life presents us with opportunities to help others.