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Next time you meditate, remember it is not what you do with the mind but what you don't do that makes meditation and mindfulness a successful endeavour. The key to all meditation practices is relaxation. Relaxing so deeply into the moment that you become the moment, losing all sense of self.

Don't concentrate on trying to still the mind. That is just one thought bullying another to be quiet. Instead see if you can concentrate the mind on an object such as the breath, a candle, or anything of your choice. Keeping the mind as a single thought in this relaxed manner is preparing you from keeping 'thine I single' when all you are focusing on is Present Moment Awareness, which is a non-objective experience as Awareness - one's true Self which IS the moment, is not an object but an activity. If you think you can jump to being conscious of yourself as present moment awareness straight away then by all means, focus on being conscious of being Awareness without the proceeding steps. Be conscious of being Awareness now.

Personally, when I first started meditation, I used to like to think of a metaphysical question that I really wanted illumination on, such as where does thought come from or what is the veil? Before commencing meditation, I would ask the question internally, and then adopt a receptive, quiescent, and listening attitude while I waited intuitively for the answer in a relaxed state of being knowing it would come to me eventually. If I got it straight away it was a bonus, but it wasn't the goal. The goal was to practice listening with an intuitive attitude that kept my mind single and aware while blending with the moment.

When I say blending with the moment I mean in full acceptance of the moment. If kids were yelling and screaming across the road, then I relaxed into the acceptance of that. If a plane few across or a lawn mower started up, I relaxed in acceptance of that. I let the moment be what it wanted to be. I was a part of it - not apart from it. There was no me and present moment awareness, there was only present moment awareness.

Holding this type of relaxed listening attitude would be akin to asking someone a question about something you REALLY wanted to know - something that your life depended on. You want to hear so much that you sit there intently waiting and listening for the answer. So completely focused are you that all other distractions (thoughts) are forgotten about - in fact not even noticed.

If your mind is busy focused on one thought, then other thoughts will eventually drop off through lack of attention, much like a person would if you ignored them all the time.

Remember we practice meditation to slow the mind down so that eventually mind/thought will stop rising and taking us out of the temple where our Present Moment Awareness guides us. Once our consciousness stops rising in thought and sits peacefully in our awareness of being in the moment, our mind is free to realize deeper dimensions within our being. The awareness of the moment experienced subconsciously leads to the awareness of Soul and then the awareness of Spirit. This is when we Self-Realize. We realize deeper dimensions of our being that were always there, however we never noticed them before as we were too busy giving our attention - our very presence of being - our very 'I am-ness away to thought that was not of our Soul, nor of our Spirit, but of a mind gone rogue and unconscious of its deeper dimensional being.

The I am-ness (our sense of ' I am') of our being, is both the door to Spirit as well as that which we create thought with. Therefore, we must choose which master to serve. Either ourselves and the mental realm by taking thought or our true Self as Spirit by remaining in a being or meditative state, so that our Spirit may flow through the mind and bless the world.

Furthermore, it is vitally important, and I cannot stress this enough, to calm yourself emotionally and FEEL the moment - feel your meditation. This is more important than concentrating and disciplining thought. This will help calm thought or the mind. It will help keep you focused. Love tempers and relaxes everything. Emotion, the child of love, steadies the wavering mind, while also giving it purpose to stay in the now. The mind will not stay anywhere long without the heart.

Remember your conscious mind which is thought is only five percent of your total mind. The subconscious is ninety five percent of it, which also contains the house of emotion. It is prudent therefore to consider what I have said if you want to take meditation to the next level. If you want it to be a lifestyle as opposed to a daily habit.

The mind - the complete mind must be stilled and silenced. Not just thought but emotion too. This is why I said relaxation is key to meditation. You are dealing with more than wayward thought here. You are also dealing with the subconscious that is emotive.

Relaxation of mind and body is essential in the art of meditation. If you are stressed or anxious, consciously relax your body. Breathe in and exhale deeply, letting all the pent-up stress of the day, week, year, flow out of you. Then feel the moment. Love it if you can. Meditation is about becoming more alive, more conscious, more awake and alert to the moment, both within and outside of it. That is not going to happen if you are not relaxed. Therefore, be brave enough to feel in a world that takes no prisoners emotionally. It is the only way. You must let yourself be vulnerable.

Watch how the mind instantly quietens when you feel the moment rather than think it. Watch how your senses come alive in the presence of love rather than thought/judgement. I know meditation is boring at first, but if you follow these instructions, it won't remain boring for long. Instantly you will go from being the actor in your story to the witness of it. Let life unfold. Live by inspiration. Let life be a revelation.

~Tracy Pierce

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