How to meditate
I find the days I meditate and get my inner world in harmony, my outer world is harmonious. This was a major factor for me in saving my marriage. Once I learned to control my thoughts, it changed my world. So the goal of meditation for me is not to sit and have no thought at all, though that is a part of it. The bigger picture though is to be able to control my thoughts. To be able to stop the thoughts of worry and fear before they take hold of my heart. When I learned how to stop the negative thoughts I had, it changed my view of the world and changed my life.
Meditation is easier said than done. When I first started learning to meditate it was very hard. I just couldn’t shut off my thoughts, or seem to control them in any way. Learning to control my thoughts and mind was kind of like building a muscle. I had to exercise it and practice every day to make it work right. Meditation takes some work. Mental work to me and most people is even more difficult than physical work. I found several books that really helped me to quiet my mind and control my thoughts.
I’ve condensed them all together and broken it down into steps. Some steps take a week or more to master and some are quicker. It’s important not to move onto the next step until you’ve mastered the current one. I have a tendency to want to rush to the next step, but if you do it will just make it more difficult. Take your time and master each step thoroughly.
Step One: Learn to control the body. Find a quiet place to sit that’s comfortable and you will be undisturbed. Sit erect and comfortable, don’t lounge. Preferably somewhere you can return to everyday. Let your thoughts roam where they will but keep your body perfectly still for fifteen minutes to a half hour. Continue this for 3 days to a week until you can secure control of your body.
Some will find this very difficult and some will do it with no problem. But it is essential that you can control your body before you’re ready to move on to your mind.
Step Two: Try to take the same position in the same location every time, if this isn’t possible, at least maintain the same position. Now, be perfectly still as before, but stop all thought. This will be extremely difficult and may only last for seconds at a time. One way I clear my mind is to picture it as big chalk board. Every thought is writing that I can wipe off with the eraser. When I start to think, I wipe the thought away. Continue to this every day for fifteen to 30 minutes until you master it.
This exercise will make you aware of how many thoughts are constantly bombarding your mind and affecting your mental world.
Step Three: This week you are going to go one step further. After you’ve sat still and stopped your thoughts as much as possible, relax, let go and let your muscles take their normal condition. Feel your muscles relax into their normal unstressed state. This will remove all pressure from the nerves and eliminate the tension which causes physical exhaustion.
Tension leads to mental unrest. It produces worry, fear and anxiety. Make this exercise as complete as possible, mentally determine that you will relax every muscle and nerve until you feel quiet and restful and at peace with yourself and the world.
Step Four: Last week you learned to relax, let go physically. This week, after taking your usual position, remove all tension by completely relaxing, then, mentally let go of all adverse conditions such as ; hatred, anger, worry, jealousy, envy, sorrow, trouble or disappointment of any kind. Many people say they just can’t “let go” of these things but you can. You do it by mentally determining to do so, by voluntary intention and persistence.
The reason some people can’t do this is that they allow themselves to be controlled by their emotions instead of their intellect. You will not succeed the first time you try, but practice makes perfect. You must succeed in dismissing, eliminating and completely destroying your negative and destructive thoughts because they are seeds, constantly germinating into harsh conditions.
The bible teaches us in Romans 12:2 to constantly renew our mind, so that you will be able to know the will of God- what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. You renew your mind by eliminating the negative to make way for Gods positive.
Step Five: Once you have mastered all of these steps, your mind can easily be quieted and ready to receive what God has in store for you. Once your mind is clear, you can ask God for answers to problems, pray for others, or just keep your mind open to hearing from him without interference from your emotions.
These steps require discipline and persistence. They are not easy. You may want to jump up every 5 seconds as you remember something that is urgent for you to do. Resist the urge. You have to claim control of your body and mind. You may find yourself falling asleep as soon as you learn to relax. It’s ok, this is a process, I still fall asleep at times and I’ve been doing this for quite a while. The wonderful thing is you can always start again.
Once you learn to control your thoughts, you can do as the bible says in Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.”
As you start controlling your negative thoughts and focusing on what is true, lovely and pure you will notice your world changes. Things look different and you act different. God had a good plan for your life, it helps when you can hear him!
Please comment after you’ve completed these steps and let me know how it worked for you.
*These steps were modeled after the book The Master Key System: Paul A Ferro Jr (Creating True Wealth) (Volume 1)