I consider that the purpose of meditation is to achieve a state of consciousness, to realize your oneness with Spirit or your concept of the Divine. One of the best ways I know to get to this realization is to rest your mind, to slow down the chatter. I like to use the breath as a resting place.
While it’s possible to experience a meditative state while speaking and interacting with others, usually the practice of meditation involves quietness, even stillness. The minds of many people in their ordinary consciousness are filled with chatter, conflicting thoughts, imaginings of the future, memories of the past, and limiting beliefs.
Meditation is an opportunity rest the mind or to give it a new focus of attention.
It’s popular for meditators and meditation teachers to say that the goal of meditation is to have "no thought." In my opinion, this is not the goal of meditation, nor is it a desirable goal for those who have never achieved it. My experience is that some of those who achieve "no thought" are in a state of unconsciousness.
Others do achieve a beautiful state of consciousness that they call "no thought" or "Nirvana." This state of consciousness is one without active contemplation or mindless inner chatter. It is clarity. It is peacefulness.
Since the purpose of the mind is to process thoughts, I consider it’s more appropriate to select a focus for the mind than to try to shut the mind off. The breath can be such a focus, because it has movement, rhythm, sound, texture, and many attributes that can engage the mind with little or no stress or resistance. Such gentle engagement rests the mind and promotes balance and alignment.
For some people, it does take practice to let the focus on the breath fully. But, if you choose to practice, there are many long-term benefits. And, incidentally, there are no nifty excuses not to, because it’s free, always with you, and easy to practice unobserved even if someone is watching. Your breath is always with you.
How do you rest your mind — either instead of meditation or to help you to achieve a meditative state? I welcome your comments.
Finding the Balance in Your Breath
gives you the relaxing break you need
to regain your balance and
enhance your personal development and success.
You will discover how, with practice, you can find your balance,
especially in your breath. You can learn through experience how it
feels to lift yourself up or calm yourself down by focusing fully on
your breath. When you listen to this guided meditation regularly,
you’ll more easily and naturally experience balance, peace,
strength, and fulfillment throughout your daily life.
This guided meditation is available at my web site in mp3 format,
and in CD format at Amazon.com.