Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mental Discipline


Mental Discipline
An essay or journal covering the Dedicant's personal experience of building mental discipline, through the use of meditation, trance, or other systematic techniques on a regular basis. The experiences in the essay or journal should cover at least a five months period. (800 words min.)

            I started along the path of mental discipline not knowing where to go or what to expect.  I had done some meditation in the past, but it isn’t something I had done regularly.  However, I tried to keep an open mind and jumped in headfirst.  I began my journey with the two powers meditation, figuring I would kill two birds with one stone.  I used Ian Corrigan’s recording of the meditation since I wasn’t too comfortable with the Two Powers on my own yet.
            I found my visualization quite impressive, especially since I had taken a long break from any sort of meditation.  I saw the experience in great detail, such as individual roots growing down into the ground through the layers of soil and stone. I could see the water running from the hidden underground current, up the roots against gravity, and into my body.  I could see the light from the sky beginning as three separate beams (one from the sun, moon, and a single star) as they wove themselves together.  After the light was absorbed, the vision seemed to pan out and I could see myself sitting in a waterfall, glowing a soft bluish-silver color.  I used this meditation each morning when I woke up, before I began to get ready for the day.  After only a few weeks of consistent use I got to the point where I could feel the water and light. 
            Through consistent use, I was able to stop using the recording and simply do the Two Powers work with just my thoughts.  At that point I began incorporating it into other parts of my life, using it to calm myself and clear my mind. Two months into the process I had an incredible experience while doing the Two Powers sitting in my back yard in the sunshine, which is probably much too long to include here.  However, that experience was beautiful and let me know that I was on the right path.  My brain was on fire and my heart was full.  After this experience though my visions and experiences with the two powers seemed distant and began to slowly fade away.  I grew frustrated but instead of quitting I decided to try something new.  First I tried a different Two Powers recording, done by Shawn Miller.  At literally half the length of the first recording, the meditation seemed rushed and like there was no time given to actually visualize what was being described.  There was also no release of the energies back to their respective locations so I ended up feeling like I was surging with energy…and not in a good way. 
            After just a couple weeks with this recording I returned to the original recording, but still wasn’t having the experience that I was hoping for and I quickly grew frustrated so I began exploring a few different options.  I tried yoga, but I’ve never really felt comfortable with my body so it made me feel awkward and like I didn’t want to do it.  After trying for two weeks I changed it up again and tried to do a simple walking meditation.  It was peaceful, but I would often find my mind was thinking about something and I didn’t even know the train of thought that got me there so I didn’t see much benefit to it. There was no joy or piece like I had previously experienced and I was very disappointed. I enjoyed the connection to nature, but it wasn’t as focused as what I felt like I needed.
            Because of this, after only two weeks I found myself searching for another approach.  I once again jumped into the two powers, but was quickly frustrated at the lack of sensation and decided to mess around with a “total silence” type of meditation with a total lack of sensory input. It gave me this odd sensation similar to having a thought on the“tip of the tongue.  It was interesting, but seemed more about suppressing than exploring. I ended my five-month period doing the same two powers meditation that I started with, hoping to gain understanding and further connect with that energy.  

            I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this journey, and as the end approached I still didn’t know where I was going to end up.  This was a much different experience than I expected it to be, and very different than anything I’ve done in the past.  I tried many different types of meditation and found what works for me and what doesn’t.  I also quickly learned that the same thing will not work every time.  I have to learn to be flexible and do what feels right in the moment. The hardest part for me was remembering to let my mind absorb the world around me, listen to the wind, smell the natural world, etc. without having my brain jump in and try to explain it.  I honestly don’t believe I’ll ever have full control over what my brain is thinking, but I’m hoping to get enough experiences to be able to use it when I need to.  I’m going to continue with this process and we’ll just have to see where it takes me.   (872 words)

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