"Buddhist Meditations with Venerable Namgyel"
Taming The Mind
If you've spent time meditating you'll have probably noticed that the practice of cultivating the mind quickly brings the understanding that it's like trying to tame a wild and mischievous monkey. Sometimes we can feel frustrated and that we aren't making much progress. Don’t give up! Analytical Meditation quickly brings the mind into focus, bringing clarity and equanimity!
Some meditators are able to tame their wandering and monkey like mind simply through the practice of sitting meditation. It's said that such meditators may have had many previous lifetimes of diligent practice to hone the ability.
However for most of us a practical solution is required in order to progress and quickly deepen our meditation. Through utilising the powerful practice of Analytical Meditation in addition to single-pointed meditation we can rapidly bring about further deepening of our practice.
What Is Analytical Meditation?
Analytical meditation is the practice of bringing the mind to bear on one object or subject matter. Commonly this will be a topic such as one found within the Lamrim and then directing the focus of the mind to consider various lines of reasoning, contemplation of analogies and reflection upon related topics primarily from one's personal experience.
Through such analytical contemplation, objects appear with clarity, bringing about strong insights on meditation topics such as refuge and compassion. When greater clarity and focus is achieved, we may then set aside Analytical Meditation and concentrate on the meditation object or insights with single-pointed focus.
As single-pointed focus starts to subside and the mind begins wandering again, then return to the analytical meditation. Through this method of meditating on the topic of Lamrim, we will be able to cultivate and maintain a peaceful and virtuous mind throughout our practice and life as a whole.
How To Practice Analytical Meditation
Pick a topic from within the Lamrim
Study the Lamrim topic, doing your best to understand the Dharma within.
Prepare guided questions for the meditation or, using our app, listen to the related guided meditation audio where Venerable Namgyel will lead you throughout the session.
Recite the Refuge Prayer, the Four Immeasurables, the Seven Limb Prayer, and the Mandala Offering*
Start your analytical meditation by either looking at the question or playing the relevant audio in the app.
When you have a strong feeling towards the topic, hold it single-pointedly in your mind.
If the mind becomes distracted and focus starts fading, revert back to the Analytical Meditation.
As the feeling becomes restored once again, set aside the analytical meditation so that you can hold the feeling with single-pointed concentration.
It’s important to finish the meditation when the mind is in a concentrated and peaceful state. Avoid overdoing it or allowing the mind to reach a state of tiredness, thus ending the meditation with a positive imprint in the mind.
*Venerable Namgyel has given teachings on why we recite these prayers in the "How to Meditate Course".
Benefits Of Alternating Analytical & Single Pointed Meditations:
Planting the seed of Dharma in the mind stream.
Directing the mind in a Dharmic way, thus developing a virtuous mind.
A middle way meditation, without the need to force our mind from swaying around to being absolutely concentrated.
By meditating on Lamrim, we gain realisation on the topics within, getting closer to enlightenment.
Listen - sample audio from the app - a 15 minute analytical meditation on the topic of "Refuge".
Watch - Teaching on Refuge (The Beautiful Foundation Online Course Week 8), follow the meditation.
I'd love to know your thoughts, let me know how you feel? Thank you!