In my early – mid 20s I dated a guy who was big into meditation. When stress hit my life like a tsunami he suggested I give it a try. Unfortunately, I could never manage to quiet what various meditation teachers refer to as the monkey mind.
All the chatter that rears its head when you try to experience a moment of stillness.
I read up on and researched various techniques but nothing ever worked consistently.
That monkey mind never stopped chattering away.
He eventually suggested I just give up since it was frustrating me to no end. Though disappointed I agreed it was the path of least resistence.
I was stressing myself out about it which more or less defeats the purpose of meditating to relax.
I did have a bit of success in what I call walking meditation but it is kind of cheating since I did not quiet my mind during those winter walks.
I used the time walking those winter nights to sift through my life and see where changes needed to be made.
A break-thru came when I bought Dr. Taub’s Seven Steps to Self-Healing Pack.
I’d never heard of guided meditation but listening to those tapes showed me that even those with chatty minds can meditate.
In 2000 I took the Silva Basic Lecture Series from a lovely woman in Akron, OH.
Aaron, who used to listen to the Dr. Taub tapes alongside me at night agreed to go with me.
For years I did a kluged version of guided meditation based on imagery from the tapes as well as whatever I produced on my mental screen during Silva.
Creative Visualization – Not
Starting in 2017 I switched from the scripted meditation I had been using for years to reviewing my novels before bed.
I had become proficient in creating vivid images while picturing characters, locations, scenes, so it seemed like a good idea.
For the next several years I spent evenings reviewing scenes from various books in my mind and though it generally helped me fall asleep it hid a problem.
It wasn’t having the same beneficial effects as guided meditation!
This might have gone on indefinitely were it not for a series of emails between a friend in Florida and myself. Rereading my words a few days after I sent them made me see I needed some serious change in my life.
I wrote about this in the Tune the Dial post.
To marry action to intention I began doing my old meditation routine in place of general mental movies. Immediately, my life began to change.
Especially my health which needed tweaking.
My energy levels went up within days and that led to reguarly engaging in exercise which led to more energy which led to…
You get the idea.
In addition to physical benefits the universe began putting in a helping hand in the form of books coming into my possession at the right time.
I think it was seeing I was serious about improving my life – not just talking about it.
I’ll admit it was tough to get back into the routine of guided meditation, not because I had trouble quitting the review of novel plots before bed but because I was so rusty at the routine I’d done for years.
Persistance Pays Off.
Knowing it would all fall into place if I kept at it I kept at it.
And life continued to improve.
The plan is to keep up routines that help me achieve various health and well-being goals.
Routines that begin with the nightly guided meditation, one that includes prayers of thanksgiving.
I learned the hard way not all mental movies achieve a state of relaxation and that guided meditation is as beneficial as TM.
Especially for those of us with chattier minds.
Note: That Monkey Mind
I long ago earned the distinction of always thinking but there was, I now realize, something else going on; something that interfered with my ability to still my chatty multi-tasking mind.
Birth Control Pills and Copper
Birth control pills have been linked to a buildup of copper. Excess copper can cause chatty racy mind.
Taking zinc and potassium can help but until and unless there is nutritional balance, it may continue to be a challenge to quiet the mind.
I’m sure other medications can have this as a side effect.