The mind is a processing center—continually inputting, analyzing, and directing body actions in reaction to the perceived degree of safety or threat around it.
Left to its meandering tendencies, the mind normally chatters non-stop about past incidences or interactions—rehashing memories and the emotions attached to them.
At the same time, the mind is constantly inputting stimuli of the present with all the distractions of every moment, while steering the actions of the body often functioning on auto-pilot.
The other direction the mind naturally leans toward is in the anticipation of a future happening, event, or interaction.
And sometimes the mind just tries to fill in the empty space of nothing happening around us, if we don’t keep ourselves active enough to stimulate it.
To better tame all of this chaotic mental activity, we use meditation as a tool to control the direction of our thought flow, allowing us to determine the time that we spend mentally processing past, present or future events.
But meditation can also be useful to assist us in our own personal quests, such as:
- The search for mental clarity
- The search for spiritual connectedness
- The search for peace of mind and developing a sense of centeredness
- The desire for a more calm and peaceful manner of living filled with deep inner satisfaction and joy
- The desire to improve our health and well being
- The desire to manifest a particular destiny
Using meditation in relation to these goals is being able to capture our attention and keep it focused on what WE desire, rather than on the multitude of subjects or distractions that the mind wishes to explore when the body is at rest.
Some authors refer to the mind’s incessant, senseless chatter as “the monkey mind” because it is constantly hopping here and there, swinging from one subject to the next, and rarely sitting still.
Depending on the purpose for meditating, a number of focusing agents can be used to quiet the mind.