For me, Meditation is just about the best Mind-tool there is.
I’m an emotional person by nature. It’s part of my ‘blueprint’ shall we say. I don’t necessarily always show it, but I certainly feel the effects of emotion deeply.
Whilst I have no problem with emotion itself, I don’t like it ruling my life or having too great a sway in my decision-making process.
I often used to feel uncontrolled, and very strong emotions could easily surface within me and my thinking would often get clouded by its effects. Pride, Wrath and Lust were frequent friends of mine.
My life would often take disastrous turns for the worse, as I used to act upon my emotions the moment they arrived and would sometimes make important decisions at times of heightened emotion ~ times when I was actually least likely to recognise all of the alternatives, and the consequences of those decisions.
I tried to program myself to remember that, when in an emotional state (either positive or negative), I needed to keep just enough intellect working to tell me one thing: Don’t decide now. Wait until you’ve relaxed and can think more clearly. This would work some of the time.
However, once I learnt to meditate, a fundamental change occurred.
Through the process of meditation, an internal Observer was created within me. It was like having the assistance of a presence, a second mind – a ‘Non-Thinking Mind’ if you like…
I believe this Observer to be consciousness ~ Pure Consciousness.
Meditation doesn’t produce the Observer, it is merely the means of access.
The function of this Observer (at least for me), is that it holds up a mirror to my own thinking in order for me to see everything more clearly, or from the best angle, and it enables me to process thoughts holistically, whereas before I would get stuck in single-minded channels, usually negative ones.
The Observer doesn’t judge, it doesn’t decide – it just reflects your thoughts back to you so that you are able to see them more accurately and therefore make better use of them. After all – thoughts are just thoughts.
To be in a state of purer consciousness relinquished me from a good deal of raw emotion. The emotional impulses within my thinking mind are still there, it’s just nowadays, they’re mostly reflected back to me through the Observer, rather than felt directly in their rawest form.
I’m not always immune to the effects of emotion (I’m human, not a robot), but I’m 90% better than I used to be prior to learning to meditate.
Through meditation, it’s as if I can see emotion coming towards me from a distance, the Observer/mirror picks up on it before it actually arrives to me in a fully conscious way. This allows me to make decisions without being engulfed by emotion, even when times are tough.
Meditation often brings forth a pre-cognitive state which gives me the time to ‘choose to react’ or ‘choose not to react’ as the case may be.
Before I learned to meditate, I did not have the ability to ‘choose’ my reactions. If someone or something upset me, my mind would get a hold of it and an emotional reaction would ensue – usually to the detriment of the situation.
Whereas now; I often have a period of grace in my thinking & emotions which gives me options – to react – how to react – or not react at all. And whenever I am able to recognise that I have this choice, I always choose to react positively and not let emotions control me so much. Emotions are still there, but they’re somehow controlled, as if kept under the surface rather than raging on top.
Meditation works well on small day-to-day annoyances, such as; being cut up in traffic or if someone says something hurtful towards you; it can help you let these kind of things wash over you without much effect, but it also works on bigger stuff, like helping work through a period of grief for example.
Meditation also helps me continually recognise the bigger picture. It is through this recognition that it has enabled me to make much better decisions. Rather than making decisions when engulfed by emotion – a state in which I would always overlook many important considerations, I now maintain a greater, yet subtler focus on the wider picture.
Above all; Meditation gives one a ‘clarity of mind’.
Thanks for reading
If you are looking for further information on Meditation and what it does, how it works – I recommend reading the book ‘Transcendence’ by Dr Norman E. Rosenthal: