Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meditation: Calming a Turbulent Mind

Meditation can be used for many different purposes and there are many different types of meditation to accomplish those purposes. However, if the mind is very turbulent, it can be difficult to meditate. In this situation, a person might want to calm their mind because they prefer feeling calm or they might want to calm their mind in order to do a particular type of meditation such as spirit communication or spiritual healing.

There are various ways to calm a very turbulent mind:

  • One simple method is just to meditate for a longer period of time.

  • If you have music running through your mind, make that the focus of meditation - use it like a mantra.

  • Use different forms of meditation to help calm down. When the mind is turbulent use a type meditation that is more active. As you calm down, use successively more passive forms of meditation. In the Zen center I used to go to, in the morning practice, they would start with bowing practice, then do chanting practice, and then do sitting meditation.

  • Just sit and let your mind rant. You will get bored of its repetitiveness after a while. This is a type of insight and well worth observing. When you notice you can meditate, start your timed meditation practice.

  • Have a balanced meal of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats. All of these nutrients are necessary for proper brain function: protein for neurotransmitters, fats for cell membranes, and carbohydrates for energy. This will help calm your mind. A multivitamin or a B complex stress vitamin formula might also be helpful. Try meditating 1 hour after eating.

  • Try doing yoga or relaxation exercises before meditating.

  • When the mind is way out of control, it can be due to fatigue. (Inhibitor neurons fatigue first. This is why factory workers during the worst of the industrial revolution would leave work after 16 hour days making the same repetitive arm and hand motions they made all day on the assembly line.) If you've been using the mind all day long and it may be running in circles because of fatigue, try having a balanced meal (above) and then getting some sleep before you meditate.

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