Meditation - Slowing Down the Monkey Brain

One of the biggest hurdles some people experience when they begin to meditate is "quieting the mind". Yet for those who have yet to master their ability to focus, "quieting the mind" is easier said than done. But as the old adage goes, "Where there's a will there's a way", and I found it!

Here are some simple tips to help you "quiet the mind" as you sit down for meditation.

  • Before you sit down to meditate set the intent that you want to enjoy your meditation and have the expectation that your mind will cooperate. Tell yourself, "I can feel my mind slowing down in anticipation of the meditation." See yourself in your mind's eye being relaxed in your meditation. Also, check your breathing. Close your right nostril and see if you can breathe clearly through your left. If you can, you're in a more receptive state for meditation. If you're breathing stronger through your right nostril, you may want to wait until you're out of this more "active" mode.
  • Don't just plop yourself down and expect to go right into stillness. I'm sure there are some who can but for the person with the "monkey brain" easing into that stillness is the order of the day.
  • Find a quiet room and a comfortable chair; clear your energetic field of anything that is not there for your highest good and your highest love.
  • Before entering into the actual meditation listen to a beautiful song or two that puts you into a sacred or peaceful frame of mind. Pay careful attention to the words in the song. Allow your mind to focus on the words.
  • Select a medium-paced song /sound as background for the first part of your meditation. Hemi-Synch vibrations work great for this as do many Reiki or other healing meditation CD's.
  • Start your meditation by counting to match the rhythm of your thoughts. It can even help to do this aloud until you feel that you are becoming more focused. If your mind is racing, let your counting race as well. If needs be, count as fast as you can, exhaust yourself. Think of it as the mental version of running at full speed. You can only go so far before you start to slow down.
  • Don't try to deep breathe yet; just pay attention to your counting and the pace at which it is going and eventually you'll experience the two becoming as one and then the breath will automatically join in as well. In other words, allow the mind and body to find its own rhythm. It will. This is the meditative version of "pace and lead".
  • Now that your breath, thoughts and counting have become uniform deliberately start to slow your counting down. Don't try to do it too fast too soon; just allow it to happen. Think of yourself getting sleepy and feel your body dropping.
  • As you continue to count, see yourself breathing the numbers to life one at a time...visualize the number being created by your breath from a tiny dot, see it shape into the number that it is as if you were blowing up a baloon, then watch it blow away like a wispy ghost by the wind that is your exhale.
  • Repeat in your mind, exaggerating the slow down with each repetition, "Everything is slowing down (breath)...slowing down (breath)...slowing down (breath)."
  • Also, keep in mind that you don't have to empty your mind, just focus it. Observe your thoughts and keep your attention focused on your third eye.

This whole process can take about fifteen minutes or so but don't get too attached to the time allotment. Above all remember that any technique you choose to use should feel natural and make for less of a struggle over time, but it is the discipline of practice that will make all the difference.