These first two meditations were simple. In theory. Each one was 20 minutes of focusing on the breath. In practice, not so simple.
I came to a realization. I know that trying to tame my monkey mind through force will backfire, for that primate is stronger than me. I knew that the way to teach it was through patience and practice, but today it finally clicked what that really means.
I have been approaching my mind like I was training a 7 month old puppy to sit. With a dog of that age, there are expectations which lead to frustration when to the dog does not obey. “Don’t you get this already?” you want to scream at the dog.
I realized instead that I need to approach my mind as though I was training a 7 week old puppy to sit. At that age, it would be foolish to have expectations of the dog being able to hold a position for long. Rather, you gently push the puppy’s back end down repeatedly. Patiently. There is no frustration when it gets up and happily waddles over to you. After all, it is a puppy, what can you expect. With good humor, you simply place it back in position. Of course, over time, this young puppy will be able to stay in position for longer and longer periods until it is habit.
I am going to hold that image in my mind, placing my focus back on my breath as though I was placing a young puppy back in place. Hopefully, one day my mind can learn to sit still too.