Why is meditation so difficult? What do we have to do to stop the almost incessant stream of thoughts that seems to be lodged in our minds? How can we switch off our thinking minds even for just a few moments?
Christian Scientist, Joel S. Goldsmith, in his book ‘The Art of Meditation,’ pointed out, on page 15:“The activity of God is within us, the presence of God…but we have built up a state of consciousness consisting of layers and layers of material sense. We have not succeeded in breaking through these layers to reach the atmosphere and altitude of God within us...”
This great spiritual teacher said that if we desire things or people this will just delay us on our path. He said we just have to give up our desires for things of the world, then we will be able to achieve God-realisation. As Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles, Lesson 258: “Let me remember that my goal is God.”
As for calming the mind during meditation, on page 56 of 'The Art of Meditation,' Goldsmith said we should never try to make our mind blank because it is impossible to do this. “When we begin to meditate and thoughts of an unruly nature come, we should remember that they are world thoughts, not our thoughts. Let them come. We will sit back and watch them, see them impersonally. Eventually they will stop, and we will be at peace.”
I find it is helpful to start off the meditation by focusing on a lesson from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. For instance, we could use Lesson 49: “God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.” Or Lesson 221, which is particularly appropriate for meditation: “Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.” There are so many Workbook lessons that are really good to meditate upon. After a while we can let go of the statement we have been focusing on and concentrate, instead, on the breath. When thoughts float into the mind, which they most probably will at times, just observe them and let them float out of the mind without latching onto them. However, on some occasions when thoughts keep cropping up, it may be best to not attempt to meditate anymore. But to return to meditation on another occasion when one is feeling more peaceful.
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