Mind your meditation practice

Infographic by Crystal Gwizdala

By Crystal Gwizdala, S&H Editor.

 

PERRY – Mid-terms are over, time to breathe.

Except the end-of-semester crunch is closing in, with cumulative exams and research papers dampening any hope for joy.

Everything is subject to stress. You are, trees are, and so is the linoleum floor. One way to manage stress is by practicing mindfulness meditation, an ancient practice from India repurposed by Westerners to suit their therapeutic needs.

Mindfulness is a component of the Eightfold Path in Buddhism, Right Awareness — an acute awareness of your body, sensations, emotions and thought processes.

“The purpose is to achieve concentration and to bring the fickle mind under control,” author Hans Wolfgang Schumann writes in his book, “Buddhism: An Outline of its Teachings and Schools.”

“[You’re most mindful] when you’re calm, when you’re still,” says Sodhano, a Buddhist monk at Wat Dhammasala Forest Monastery. “You can sort of look at the extreme of that: if you’re excited or agitated or aroused in any way, your mindfulness is often reduced.”

“The joke was […] we’ve been doing a potluck for 2600 years,” says Sodhano, a Buddhist monk who has been practicing at Wat Dhammasala Forest Monastery for the past five years. The temple in Perry, MI is always open to visitors in exchange for an offering of a meal, in order to create a relationship between the community and the monks. Oct. 30, 2019. (Rebecca Roberts/Photo Editor).

But what happens if your mind spirals into an all-consuming misery? How can you stop that?

“It doesn’t work just to suppress [these feelings],” says Sodhano. “[…] You can’t will your mind to stop. It’s just watching — the more you watch, the more you see the ways that the mind moves.”

Recognize the early signs that your mind is shifting. Ask yourself why.

“Ask deeper questions about what’s really driving the movement,” says Sodhano. “[…] Those kinds of deep investigations can lead to insight.”

If you maintain a regular meditation practice, you can train your brain to better handle these emotions.

“Recall where the mind has been in quiet meditation,” Sodhano suggests. “Once you have those experiences [in quiet meditation], you can recollect them.”

Another important facet of mindfulness is conduct, or how you behave.

“Everyone is born kind of like a wild animal,” says Sodhano. “It’s necessary to have the right conduct if you’re going to have the best mindfulness. If you’re remorseful about your conduct, you’re going to be distracted.”

For example, getting drunk and making a move on your best friend’s girlfriend: if you can’t properly control your mind, your conduct is at risk. And if you feel remorseful about that conduct, your mindfulness is compromised. Then, your ability to return your mind to stillness is more challenging.

For tips on how to be mindful and meditate, check out Issue 6 of the Delta Beat on the Delta Collegiate’s YouTube channel!

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Nice work Girl keep it up.

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