Controlling the flow of Thought
Improving your focus
In this meditation, you attempt to direct the stream of thoughts either towards some object or away from it. You may chose either to begin, but by doing both at different times you will gain more from it. In directing your thoughts toward some object, you pick a subject and strive to direct your attention to it and to keep your attention from straying onto a different subject.
For example, you may sit and study the wall across from you. Look at the wall, observe the texture of the wall, think of the materials the wall consists of, examine the many shades of color, focus your attention on the wall. When you stray off into another subject, once you become aware of it, simply turn your attention back to the wall. Again, at first attempt 5 minutes and gradually increase the time as you find the meditation easier.
In order to turn your thoughts away from a subject, you simply focus your attention on another subject, or group of subjects. The fascinating thing about this version of the meditation - once you try to command your mind to ignore a subject, the more your mind will try to focus on it.Pain seems like good subject for this meditation, which gives a glimpse of the meditations to come. Of course,one can chose any subject.
Unless you have a very limber body try this: sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Lean over your legs, stretch out your arms and try to grasp your feet around their bottoms. Don't fret if you cannot reach that far, simply let the hands grasp the legs as far up as they can. At the point where you feel a pain, in the back of your legs, almost too intense to endure, stop there and grasp.
Stay in that position, and begin the cycles of 10 breathing meditation. Try at first for 30 seconds. If you cannot last 30 seconds you may have stretched too far. Pain does serve a useful function, it warns the body of impending damage, do not stretch too far, too fast. If you easily last 30 seconds you have not stretched far enough. If you cannot feel any pain when you grasp your feet, you probably do yoga or something similar - find a painful position which will not damage you.
While sitting this way, turn your thoughts toward some subject. Simply focus on something other than the pain. If you find you can do this for 20 or more minutes consider moving on to the next meditation.
Copyright 1997, by Robert L. Zook II, all rights reserved.