Recently, while giving a little instruction to a meditation student of mine…well she also happens to be my wife, a way of illustrating one of the goals in meditation, came about. I was attempting to describe the process of letting go. Letting go of what, you ask? Well, I continued on, that during meditation, we attempt to keep our mind focused on something observable, moment to moment. In this case, it is the breath, the natural breath going in and out of the nose, you know, respiration.
While doing this exercise, this meditation, the mind inevitably will wander. It will follow the various thoughts and sensory experiences that it deems important. As this wandering occurs, it is our job to recognize this, as objectively as possible and then re-focus our attention back to the breath. It sounds easy enough, right? Well, I encourage all human beings to start their practice with very low (actually with none) expectations.
Here is where the descriptive came along. I told her that these thoughts and sensory stimulation are very much like helium filled balloons. Floating aimlessly to nowhere, unless we choose to hold onto them. Picture those everyday thoughts going through your mind. Imagine, each of the thoughts as a balloon. Picture each balloon that you decide to hold onto, becomes attached to your body, maybe by a little hook attached to its string. Now imagine those balloons pulling you in every direction, the stress, the tension, let’s face it, those are hooks, THE PAIN!!!!
Ok, now picture yourself, during meditation, as a thought comes up, you follow it, (give it importance) and immediately by doing this, you attach a hook to yourself, much like the balloon example, and now the thought is pulling you. At first, you may not even recognize you have followed that thought. Several minutes, heck, hours might pass and the awareness of following that thought may not be realized. Yet, a new tension and stress begin to build due to being pulled away from your own true reality, which is what is going on right at this moment.
Fortunately, at this point, you have made the decision to learn an amazing tool called meditation! You remember that you are supposed to be focused on your breath, that moment of clarity arises and you realize your mind has wandered, observe that thought, smile and then let it go. You pop that hook and just let go of that balloon! Let go of that tension! Let go of that stress! Off into the air it goes, off into the universe. No longer attached, no longer holding onto it, just letting it go. Then as it floats away, you focus your attention back on the breath. The return of what is now, what is present, what is the moment. How liberating!
Will that thought come up again? Yes. Will your mind follow it, give it importance? Well, most likely, but now you have started training that fickle mind of yours through meditation. You have now gained the wisdom that these thoughts,these sensory experiences are very much like balloons! Many of these thoughts and experiences are a part of a large grouping of balloons! So you let go, one at a time and bring that focus back to the breath, back to the moment! The tension is still there, but you give it just a little less importance (by letting go of that observed balloon), and ultimately working to lighten the load, as you continue retraining this needy mind of yours.
Eventually this wisdom will help you understand that it isn’t the balloon that is causing the tension, it isn’t the thought or the sensory experience that is causing the stress. It is the importance you give to that thought, that experience, that is the source of your stress. You choose to give it importance, by holding onto it. You choose to attach yourself to the balloon by grabbing it and putting that hook in yourself. (OWCH!)
This tool of letting go is a very important step in addressing many of the problems in one’s life. By letting go, you are no longer holding onto things that have already happened in the past, that time only exists in the memory of that moment. You are no longer attaching yourself to a thought of something to come in the future. That time doesn’t even exist yet. Most importantly, you are spending a lot more time in your only true reality, which is right now, each moment. Fully engaged with what is actually happening. Talking with a loved one, playing with a child, tasting a favorite food. People often say we take these things for granted. I disagree, we just unfortunately give more importance to things that don’t truly exist.
As you continue to gain wisdom through the practice of meditation, you will experience a more natural awareness of the mind wandering. You will slowly notice a change in this habit of attachment. A transformation from the old habit of holding on, to a new liberating habit of letting go. Letting go of those typical daily tensions. Letting go of those self-inflicted stresses. Ultimately, taking responsibility for the misery in your life and eventually finding the true nature of peace, the true happiness, in all things…in all experiences.
Brain Mechanics Foundation focuses on empowering the individual to take a major role in solution to their problems, their challenges, their health. Our Alzheimer’s Resolution is the foundation to our mission for eradicating Alzheimer’s from the face of the Earth. This protocol will require you to “let go” of some preconditioned understandings of yourself, your loved one, and this disease. Our protocol not only helps address this terrible disease, but it also has a solution built into the protocol that helps the caregiver and the daily stresses they encounter. Tool that will help them work through the mental and physical challenges that present themselves from being a caregiver. We understand how difficult this is, our CEO Karim Delgado went through this himself, and is the driver in our mission, and we think this is just as important as helping your loved one.
Please help us get the Alzheimer’s Resolution off the ground. Please support us and donate to our case study, so that we can put this protocol out there as part of our Open Source Health model to benefit all human beings. https://www.brainmechanics.org/alzheimerssolution.