Sitting in mindfulness meditation can be boring. In fact, it is, if you take the meaning of the word to be as if drilling a hole, boring a hole through some material. Every time we return to the mindfulness position, we are training the mind, to be mindful. We are boring through the manacles of the mind. We are re-orienting awareness from it’s attachments and identity with objects-of-awareness as self, as me, as who I am, to awareness itself as self. This is liberation, freedom from the manacles of the mind.
You can afford to sit and be mindful of boredom for 10 minutes. You can also afford 10 minutes to fabricate objects-of-awareness within your own mind that are exciting, and can be as compelling as objects-of-awareness are in our everyday life in much the same way a dream can appear very real. Intentionally adding audiovisual objects-of-awareness upon which to focus attention can be very healing, comforting and supportive. It can also build neural pathways and connections conducive to specific behaviors. Professional and world-class athletes often use visualization to help improve performance. Actors often rehearse, in their own mind. The mind doesn’t really make a distinction between waking and dreaming responding to the experience in each as real. Upon waking up, we can recognize the dream for what it was; but at the time, it was real to the point of physiological responses. Visualization can become that focused, that real, even to the point of what might be called virtual reality.
So, sitting comfortably in mindfulness meditation, having taken a few deep full breaths and relaxing into being awareness, aware of objects-of-awareness, just be there. Notice things…feelings, thoughts, commentary, plans, justifications, whatever goes on in the container of the mind, is okay. We’re just with it. Nothing stays, the mind wanders, meanders, circulates, and appears to fly all around in some weird random free for all. And we take a full relaxing breath in, and out, a deep sigh, and we stay with it, aware these objects of awareness are just that. And then, maybe, we begin to softly direct the focused attention of awareness on our simple basic autonomic breathing. So simple. So basic. So essential. And we are just with it, aware of this phenomenal process called breathing.
And then, maybe, we begin to focus attention on deep full breathing, on the conscious regulation of breathing. We invoke intention to focus awareness on regulating breath. We establish a pace. We introduce some audiovisual components. It can be as compelling, with neurological and physiological impact; as a dream or virtual reality.
There are thousands of guided imagery programs available to introduce audiovisual content; most all are geared for relaxation, calming, soothing, and can be quite pleasant. Learning how to relax is a skill few have learned, and many need. Initially, to help prime the creative imagination of our own mind, listening to guided imagery can be fruitful. Soon though, you want to be in your position, alone, quiet, unfettered by a clock for a time, and unburdened by external stimuli. You want to introduce, and sustain, audiovisuals of your choice. You can fabricate any scenario, any place, any time, any feelings, any outcomes. You are the director of a movie. You are the writer, choreographer, editor and costume designer. See yourself, as you view yourself to be, in the most positive situation you can muster up. Notice the details of this situation; focus in on specifics. Use your ever present commentary to describe to yourself what you see, hear, smell, taste, in this scenario. This scenario is not a postcard; it is a moving process. See yourself acting as you would like to act in a situation, see the sequence of events. And then repeat it; and repeat it again.
Because mindfulness meditation is a component of Yoga, which has a long illustrious history, there is a lot of information available. There are well established mantras and yantras and affirmations and beautiful, radiant worlds available for manifestation within the container of our mind as objects of awareness. That kind of subjective virtual experience has a very definite positive influence on the body, the brain, the glandular system, our health and well being. Of course, it takes some practice to sustain awareness of this object within our mind. And that is mindfulness meditation when the wandering meanding attention is here and there and everywhere, and that spark of awareness refocuses to the base state of being aware, of objects-of-awareness; and to breathe, and to focus on designated objects-of-awareness.
Our natural, comfortable most often not noticed breathing is the first and best object-of-awareness on which to focus attention. It is not forced. There is no control. It requires no effort. It is a casual, easy going process of being aware of it, consciously. And then the attention leaves it’s focal area romping around plans for next week, forgotten letters that need to be written, thinking about the next meal, and so many many other objects-of-awareness. And then the spark of intention and our attention refocuses to its focal area. This is the practice, the training. It has been likened to training a puppy to stay in one place. The puppy wanders. The puppy is brought back. And again, and again. Soon the puppy stays.
Positive subjective audiovisual objects-of-awareness will generate feelings in the body, if even subtle. These feelings are referred to as kinaesthetic experience. Learning to generate positive audiovisual objects-of-awareness with kinaesthetics on which to focus can be quite effective in countering anxiety, depression, stress, anger, boredom and any number of discomforts in the mind, and body. However, the real purpose is to simply be mindful, at rest and aware, calmly alert, in the most natural state of being for any human.