Our mind can be our worse enemy or our greatest friend. It can lift us to great heights, or pull us down into destruction and despair. It's how we use it in the betterment of oneself that matters most, if, we are to spiritually grow and evolve. Let us think of this "Mind" just for the moment in how it never wants to be free of things. Constantly thinking. Always chattering, always wanting. Desires, Lusts, Dreams, Money, Worries, Fears, it even talks to us at times. Did you know that many people believe spirit talks to them when really, at times, it's their own mind that's talking. This is where we must decipher between that of "Mind," and that of "Spirit." This mind can and does cause a lot of confusion. It's so easy to allow the mind to runaway with itself. It's when we start to realize this that we then put into practice (safeguards) and the best safeguard of all is "Meditation."
Meditation not only stills the mind but it raises us to greater heights in vibration. It also strengthens it to a degree where concentration is greatly enhanced. Concentration is NOT meditation as some think, as concentration is below the human senses, whereas, meditation is (above) our senses. But to start meditation one has to go through concentration first.
And that's where we need to be, above and away from the mind which causes all the trouble. When we first start out in learning how to meditate, one will "always" come up against the agitations of the (Mind.) "HOW THEN DO WE CONTROL THE MIND." (with constant practice and patience.) I have posted on another forum sometime ago concerning the agitations of the mind, and how best to control it. So again I will try to give some beneficial help as simple as possible for those who may be in need of this.
When you are ready for meditation find a quiet secure room where you can not be disturbed. Lock the door even, this will give you the assurance that no one can abruptly enter and disturb you. You want to be alone with God. The purpose of meditation is to bring you in communion with the Lord. If you decide to meditate at night, then close the curtain so light from a passing car will not distract you. Turn lights down, or you may prefer to sit in the dark. If you have any incense sticks light one or two, this can enhance and may even put you in a more positive relaxed mood. You may even want to play some soft music, do so if you feel it will help.
All this is very necessary in the beginning, but as you persevere and adhere to patience you will discover, in time, and to your own delight, that you (your personality - your character - your inner self and outer self has changed dramatically, for the the better).
Your mind is much more at peace and you can control better the things that ALWAYS troubled you in the past. So, let's say you have readied yourself for meditation.
Sit comfortable in a chair with back straight. It is important that you sit (up) and that you are (not) lying down. Reason for this is: you want to remain awake and not fall asleep, also, by sitting erect you are keeping your chakra's properly aligned and in the proper horizontal position. You may even sit on the floor if so desired, or on your bed. It doesn't matter where you sit as long as you sit with back straight.
So now you are ready for meditation, before you start take in a few deep breaths to further relax you. Now offer a prayer and ask for help and guidance. What now, how do we proceed, what should we first do. Start by closing your eyes and give "FULL" rein to your mind, in other words, let your mind do as it pleases. Don't even try attempting to focus it, not yet anyway. Just let it take you to where it wants without you fighting against it.
Remember, you are not an adept at this, you are a beginner, but with practice you will get better and better and in time you will discover to your satisfaction and with great joy the remarkable benefits in which meditation can bring us. So, one must first start off at the basics. One may have been meditating for years and have never gained any results, its because they have not been meditating. Their mind has been the cause of this. "KILL" the "MIND" and all treasures will be revealed to you! Remember, when you sit for meditation, let your mind do as it wants for now. It may want to take you to some remote island in the Pacific, let it, don't fight it. Or it may even want to take you far off into the universe where one often thinks of life on other planets. Then again, it may want to dive into the depths of the ocean to explore the dark bottomless regions miles below, or it may just want to think about last nights dinner, and how you suffered terribly with heart-burn from the Chinese food you ate.
You see, the mind can take us to any location it wants at the speed of thought, from where we are at present, to millions of miles away in a twinkling of an eye. I am mentioning all this only because many do not understand the "Full" workings of the "Mind," and just what can be achieved if used (right.)
What is man's purpose in life; it is to control one's mind and break through the bonds of our earthly existence to discover OUR True-Self. Sounds like Star-Trek, doesn't it. (To Boldly Go Where Man (Is) "Destined" To Go.) Yes, we can achieve this if we are capable in controlling our mind. If we are able to break through in controlling the mind, then we will discover a world so vast within ourselves that it will literally astound you. For in everyone one of us (human) there is an entire universe that truly exists, I have seen this within myself, and I know it exists in everyone. (Yes,) I have seen it within my very self. I mention this not for myself, but to show (You) the reader, what we can witness, experience and achieve if only we have a will to try.
I once heard a saying years ago, (Man Was A Universe Unto Himself) how true that is. I don't know where that saying came from or who quoted it, but I never forgotten it only because it is "truth." if one meditates on those exact words, you will eventually come to the proper understanding of it.
OK, so we are sitting with back straight, eyes closed, hands gently resting in our laps, and witnessing the agitations of our mind. Now as we observe these agitations don't be phased by it, just observe and let it run hither and thither. After some minutes we start to see a change in our thought patterns, we then realize that our mind is starting to slow down, its getting tired on its own accord. Just keep watching it until you feel its time you can gently take hold of it. Don't grab at it and try to still it all at once, (that won't work) instead, be gentle, pat it, treat it as your pet. Use your "imagination" here, as you pat it see it as a small furry rabbit, or better still see it as a small yellow canary. Imagine seeing it in the palm of your hand, focus on it. As you concentrate in focusing on this little yellow canary resting in the palm of your hand, you begin to softly stroke its little head with your index finger. Very gently you keep stroking it, keep your vision, your imaginative vision on this beautiful little bird.
Notice that the canary is beginning to fully put its trust in you, you notice this because its eye's are slowly starting to close. If you do this correctly, you will noticed that you have (Stopped) your mind from roaming all over the place. You have kept it in one place focused on a very small object. This is just the beginning, (remember) you must learn how to concentrate first. The more you practice with your concentration, the further ahead you will go towards meditation.
There are many exercises that can help one to learn how to subdue the Mind. But as I said earlier, "Concentration" comes first. Here is two examples.
Sit in meditation position. Close your eye's and see before you a large school black-board. In the tray of the black-board where chalk is kept is also the duster. Now with imagination see yourself get up and approach the black-board. Stand before it and take a stick of chalk from the tray. Now raise your hand and write the letter (A) on the board. Now again with your imagination see yourself place the chalk back in the tray and pick up the duster, wipe away the letter (A), put the duster back where you got it from, which was near the chalk on the tray and pick up the chalk and write (B).
Again with the duster wipe (B) away and proceed right through the alphabet in the same manner as when you started. If you can go right through without dropping the chalk or the duster, then your concentration is very much improving. The other exercise is: our mind is much like a horse. No matter what the weather the horse constantly moves and flickers. Again in your imagination see (your) horse on a hill rearing, pig-rooting, naying and snorting. It's behaviour is much like the agitations of our mind it just can't keep still. Approach your horse, see yourself putting a rope around its neck, now lead it to where you can either tie it to a tree or fence. Now imagine yourself holding a large horse brush where you begin to slowly brush down the horse. As you brush you notice the horse becoming more gentler, more quieter and timid.
The purpose of these exercises is to occupy the mind by focusing it on deliberate things. When we are able to carry out these exercises without faltering in anyway, then we are starting to control our wayward mind. Then we can try sitting for meditation. Just focus on one of the exercises, or you may prefer to focus on your chosen deity such as; Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Rama, Krishna, whatever you feel most comfortable with. Let your mind settle softly on your chosen object, keep focusing and when you feel its time (let your mind dissolve into nothing.) let it fade away. Try to hold that nothingness for as long as you can and always remember, even the "Great" ones had to start at the beginning, so never get upset with yourself, as there will be others around you in spirit knowing your attempts and offering help as much as they are allowed.
In time you will be given beautiful visions of the Lord, through your meditation as well as in your dreams.
I wish you success...