Meditation is intended to make each of us a better person. To become a better person (to move forward), we must be brave, calm, and steady. In order to develop these qualities, we must learn how to harness our mind.
A common approach to harnessing our mind is by using our breath, or wind. Tibetan teaching talks of the windhorse, or lungta. Windhorse is the subtle energy, or air, within our body. It is the unlimited energy of goodness and awareness. When we have windhorse, our life moves forward. Regular meditation helps us to know our mind and learn how to harness it to accomplish our goals.
A focusing meditation is one type of meditation that we can use. We focus on our breath during meditation. When our mind wanders, we need to gather it up again and bring it back to the breath. With practice, our mind becomes stronger and our inner strength can come out as we begin to know our mind. As we start to learn our mind and its highs and lows, we begin to accept those highs and lows as part of ourselves. Our meditation becomes more peaceful as we worry less about things.
Part of meditating is learning to recognize wandering thoughts as they happen. With practice, we can quickly bring our focus back to the breath. There is no reason to feel bad about a wandering mind. Anyone that meditates knows that the mind will begin to wander again, no matter how much we practice. It just happens.
If we do not learn to manage our minds, self doubt starts to show up at some point in our lives. It starts to make sense to say and do negative things. This state of mind begins to accept violence and aggression as the way to get things done. We do not try patience or compassion because we have no practice using them. We have confidence in aggression.
We need windhorse to help us break out of this cycle. The enlightened qualities of the mind are available to those who look for them through meditation.
This article was based on an article in Shambhala Sun, September 2009.
© 2010 Eric Borreson