When I meditated today, my mind was not settled. After setting the mental “guardkeeper”, my mind went on a journey of fantasies, jumping from the present into the past and leaping into the future. Over time, it gradually settled on the meditation object of the breath.
Out of the blue, it went from settled, to a thought about work. And it stayed there for a good few minutes, as it also went along, generating even more thoughts.
My mind then abruptly came to a halt, noted “those were thoughts, and not the object to focus on”, and the mind very naturally came back to the breath.
The interesting thing is that this was done automatically, without any force. How did that happen?
As my teacher often says, if one acts like a dictator to one’s own mind, the mind will tend to rebel. But if one is kind and gentle to one’s own mind, and lets the mind naturally experience the gentle pleasure of meditation, over time it is very easy to gently re-direct the mind back to the meditation object.
Why? Because the mind has tasted the pleasure of stillness and letting go. Then there’s no need to force, just like there’s no need to force a hungry cat to eat cat food. 🙂