I have been meditating from last 45 days and here are a few things I’ve learned about the mind:
1. It is extremely difficult to be in solitude doing nothing, thinking nothing. Human mind invents ways to keep itself busy: daydreaming, scrolling the newsfeed, reading a book, talking to friends, working on a thesis, building a business or any other activity that we do we are always inventing ways to avoid ourselves. This is probably the reason we have achieved so much as a species because we are always doing something.
2. When I try to focus and not think anything particular I end up thinking about my insecurities. When I let my mind free and let it do what it wants to do, it does nothing and stares at me the abyss.
3. You cannot stop thoughts no matter how hard you try. It’s like putting a dam on a flowing river or holding your breath, in the end, it will burst. What you can rather do is observe your thoughts as they come and go. Don’t chase your thoughts, let them come and let them go. Make a note of how you does that make you feel.
4. Do not chase your thoughts or indulge in thought-trains. Imagine you are on a highway and you see cars blazing by provoking you. You can choose to run behind those cars, trying to get hold of the situation, dwelling too deep. Or. You can just decide to sit on a cornerstone with both your hands holding up your face and observe how those cars come and go.
5. As a part of the exercise, I was asked to make a mental note whenever I was about to sit down or stand up just before I was going to do that. If I could do that two-three times a day I would have been successful. I could do that exactly zero times in the last 45 days. Sounds so simple, yet so tough to be mindful.
Note: I have taken a break lately. I want to start meditating again. It’s an amazing tool for self-reflection. I’m using the Headspace app.