Yoga Journal

Mind Matters

One of the biggest gifts I’ve gotten from meditation came out of my struggle with my own mind.

As you know, the mind famously resists settling down and getting quiet. It much prefers to plan, critique, worry, and obsess over questions like, What year did Kendrick Lamar win his first Grammy?

When I was first meditating, and for many years afterward, my meditation sessions consisted of 40 minutes of rumination broken by brief stretches of focused mantra repetition and then a short period of relaxing into stillness.

Facing my overactive (and sometimes overwrought) mentalogue was a little like facing down a dragon. I clung to my mantra, seeing it as a kind of tether that steadied me while my dragon mind belched clouds of fire and smoke. But every few minutes, the dragon would slip its leash and thrash around wildly. And often, I couldn’t get it to come back until, at last, the bell on my timer would ring and release me from the struggle.

After a while, though, I noticed that a funny thing started happening. Even though my mind rarely got quiet until the last five minutes of an hourlong

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