The 8th Pillar for Supporting Meditation Techniques
If you have been following along as I have been introducing the 9 Essential Pillars for supporting mind-body forms and meditation techniques, you may be wondering why “ignore” would follow the concept “focus”. Hopefully you will have a clear understanding once you have finished reading the next few short paragraphs.
As I mentioned with the previous pillar, you want to establish one single thought to replace all other thoughts. This is the focus that will begin to make your meditation techniques more powerful.
Once you have begun to focus on the one single thought, it is inevitable that other thoughts will begin to pervade your brain. This is where the concept of ignoring begins its foundation. It is best not to worry at all about the thoughts and worries entering your mind, but instead just watch them as if you are an outside observer. Gradually give them less and less importance and they will lose their control and power over your mind. This is one of the meditation techniques that becomes easier and more useful the more you implement it on a consistent basis.
We can think of our minds during meditation as being like a stream. At first the stream has a strong current which makes the water very muddy and turbulent. Over time by consistently practicing meditation techniques the stream will be calm and peaceful. The mud will settle to the bottom and the waters will run clear.
When you reach this point in your meditations another phenomenon may start to occur. This is where random images begin to appear in your mind’s eye. You may seem images that are beautiful, scary, from your childhood or other periods of your life, or things that are just completely random. This is a very different state then when conscious thoughts are interrupting your meditation. You have entered a meditative state that is somewhere between waking and sleep.
It is important during this phase to remember once again the concept of “ignore”. If you see an image in your mind that appears very beautiful, don’t give it too much importance. Embrace the idea of let it come, let it go, and let it be. The same holds true if you see an image that is frightening. There is a Chinese expression related to practicing powerful meditation techniques that says, “Kill the Devil, kill the Buddha”.
What this means is that you should not focus too strongly on anything you see during a meditation. By continuing to watch everything lightly, as if you are an outside observer, you will proceed along the path of cultivation much more quickly. If you pay too much attention to the images that unfold in your mind, you run the risk of being stuck at that phase of your practice.
Stay tuned for the 9th and final Pillar, after which I will take a few days off from writing to enjoy the holiday weekend.