Does your mind become really active and agitated in quiet yoga poses and when you sit in meditation? Like there is a pack of wild cracked-up monkeys living it up in there?
My secret to not losing my marbles during quiet times is to give my brain a job to do while I am in a restorative pose or sitting for meditation. My now employed monkey mind brain can do a job while I keep my focus on the present moment – where the happiness lives.
What I say:
May I be filled with lovingkindness
May I be well
My I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy.
I repeat this until my mind settles down or until my sit/pose is finished. Some days I am still saying it when the timer goes off and other days I am able to settle in and focus.
Why focus on my own well-being instead of wishing these things for others?
It’s exactly like what they say when traveling with someone who needs help on an airplane, take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.
When I say it:
I use this mantra during my sits and long stays on my mat. I also say it while I am driving somewhere stressful or on my way to work in the car or when I am wanting to punch the person at the grocery store in front of me in the head. These words also come in handy when I am lying down with my daughter wishing more than anything that she’d go to sleep already.
Basically when I feel my body get stressed out because of modern life, I try to quiet my monkey mind by repeating this mantra.
How to spread the love into the world:
After I feel all full of love for myself, I substitute the name of a person I love dearly where I had been saying I. Now that I’ve been practicing with this mantra for a few years, I am able to send some lovingkindness to others. Needless to say, it took me a really, really long time to get there.
That’s how I stay in the moment without losing my marbles.
What’s your secret? How do you stay in the present? Do you use a mantra?
Based on teachings from Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
Image source: We Heart It.