“Anger is not the problem. The problem is that you think you should not have anger. Anger is a healthy emotion. The only thing is you should handle the anger and not let the anger handle you. This counts for any emotion.” Swami Tattvarupananda.
We have spoken a bit about anger and the emotions before in February 6th’s post on how to handle anger, fear and anxiety, by resting in Childs pose and punching it out in vajrasana. But what Swami Tattvarupananda has said here was like a little light in my mind, that it is ok to have these emotions, in fact we shouldn’t be without them; they are natural and human. But it is how we handle them that makes all the difference, being able to disattach from them and not let them consume us is the key. It is through the practice of meditation that we can learn to keep calm and gentle through our daily lives. Many people are put off from the practice of meditation as they try it once, their mind is jumping all over the place and they think they can’t do it and give up. This is the case for all of us; the mind is a wild tiger that needs to be trained, which takes time, patience and dedication to the practice. One of the main obstacles to the practice of meditation is the lack of concentration, which living in the modern world with stimulants from sounds, colours, lights and noise flying around us constantly, is no surprise. When we see people meditating, are they really meditating and have found that state where everything stops, stillness, contentment and peace are all that is there? Or are they too sitting desperately trying to concentrate as thoughts of all kinds of nature pop in and out of the mind? Probably the latter. The benefits of the practice of meditation are boundless, no matter how bad you think you are at it, the benefits are still coming, you will find you suddenly deal with a situation better than you might have, things don’t bother you so much any more and the list goes on, so don’t give up and get frustrated. There is nothing wrong with being a bad meditator, in fact we are all probably that, due to our minds not being trained that way, its just a question of re-training and with patience it gets better. Here is a lesson in concentration to help you build on that quality and help you with your other meditation practices.
Sit in a comfortable position that you can maintain for some time, in a place where you wont be disturbed, making sure that the spine is held straight. Close your eyes and just breath effortlessly for a while let go of your day and just be with yourself. Then start to count with the breath, beginning with the exhalation – 1, inhalation – 1, exhalation -2, inhalation – 2, exhalation – 3, inhalation – 3, etc until you reach the number of 21. The thing is though as soon as another thought pops into your mind begin again at 1. Practice this for about 5 minutes, have a short break then try again. There is no relevance to the number 21 it is just a target, and as your concentration begins to increase with practice, you can increase the length of time and the target number. Be honest in the practice and always come back to 1 as soon as a thought distracts you, which is the tricky part, as you want to continue and then wonder what was a thought, and what was not, it is a very interesting practice and I’m sure you will learn something about yourself from it.
Enjoy and looking forward to seeing all you meditating YOGIS soon!
Om Lokah Somastah Sukinho Bhavantu
May all beings find harmony, balance and peace.
Mangala – nicky.