Talking about meditation and yoga, you always hear the phrases “quieting the mind”, or
“removing all thoughts”….impossible, right?
Yoga and meditation are all about baby steps and practice – something we aren’t used to living in a world where we can usually get what we want really fast. Our minds are like monkeys jumping from thought to thought to thought – this is called the “Monkey Mind” in yoga. Getting the mind to slow down can take a lot of time and practice, but your efforts will be rewarded.
Instead of thinking about making the mind totally quiet or free from thoughts, just focus on not getting distracted by all the random thoughts as frequently. When you are, for example, making a sandwich; try to really pay attention to what you are doing. Every time your mind gets distracted with other thoughts, try to just notice that you’ve been distracted, push the random thought aside, and turn your attention back to the task at hand – making a sandwich. Just noticing that you’ve been distracted is making progress; and pushing the thought to the side and re-focusing is also progress.
It is a process to train the mind to get distracted less frequently, but with constant effort it can be done. But it’s that constant effort thing that’s important; you can’t practice the exercise in the paragraph above for one day or one week and expect to be done. Just like training your body to perform a specific yoga pose, or a marathon, you have to train your mind to work a little differently. We have way more control over what we think than we think!