I sometimes think of my brain as if it were an eight-armed octopus or some kind of mythical hydra—so many topics for it to grab and fondle. Today’s sit required a mantra—a short tribute to Ganesh is what I chose … not one word but just a few that I was allowing to flow through my mind. I can usually focus on the breath but for some reason didn’t have the ability and found that the mantra was more useful.
What this taught me today was interesting though—what I witnessed today was that my mind can follow that mantra AND a few other things at once and kind of trick me into thinking that ‘hey, you are still meditating but I’m going to just send a few arms out to explore other things.’
When I caught it doing that I realized that the mantra becomes reduced in volume. I still hear it but it’s not as strong and I don’t feel like I’m buzzing or really present. So I called all the arms back to the resting position and let the mantra come in loud, in stereo.
People say that the mind is like a monkey—you have to give it something to do. Well, it can clone and send parts of itself off into the yonder and then what? You have to call an assembly and get it back into its one self, with your mantra, with your breath.
It’s really quite dynamic, this whole process—not just during one sit but the difference between what technique works best one day and then the next and what that technique involves or reveals to you. Cool.