“The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress.” – Ramana Maharshi
Daily Nugget of Gold 1566
Actually, our title here is a little deceptive. What we mean by that is that the greater amount of discipline involved here isn’t so much in thinking- it’s in non-thinking. Yes, we speak of meditation yet again- but don’t think that it will always be necessary to use prolonged meditation for this, no- we’re going to discuss a shorter and easier way to accomplish the goal of disciplined thought on something.
First, let’s talk about regular meditation and the advantage it gives us. A person who meditates daily is building the ability to focus on a single thought by clearing the mind of all others. The longer a person practices meditation, the higher the skill level in doing this- which just makes sense, doesn’t it? If we can quiet down all the usual chatter in our brains and focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else, you can see where this would give us a huge advantage in holding one thought in the frontal lobe- the area of our brain designed to turn thoughts into reality.
Okay, enough on that for the moment, we teased you by saying there is another way and it was easier. This method involves relaxing our muscles, taking a moment to be calm and quiet, then drawing in a deep breath and just as we do that, we focus our mind on our desire. In that moment we wish to see ourselves as already in possession of the thing we want and to feel the feeling of pleasure we’d have by having it or experiencing it. We release our breath after a few seconds. That’s it. Yes, we need to repeat it- but that’s the whole procedure.
How often should we do this? Maybe a few times in one sitting, certainly a few times a day as well. We may want to use a trigger to remind ourselves of it throughout the day, but this isn’t complicated, is it? The mind isn’t bound by continuous time in what it can produce, it’s more attuned to importance, and importance is measured by the amount of emotion we feel. If something is extremely emotional to us, it has the best chance of shaping our behavior. Things with little or no emotion? They’re just “background” and cannot have a meaningful chance of creating the conditions were we get what we seek.
Discipline isn’t a dirty word when we employ it ourselves- on ourselves in order to see the results we’d like. Self discipline is a wonderful thing.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to remember to practice disciplined thought daily?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.