ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Meditation: Cleaning the Lens of your Mind's Eye

Updated on March 10, 2014

Whether you use prescription eyewear or wear sunglasses, safety glasses or reading glasses, you know what a difference it makes when your lenses are clean. Meditation is like cleaning the lens of your mind’s eye.

Our eyes are our visual window on the universe. We use the information we get through this window to make decisions moment by moment, and also to store data for later use. If our vision is obstructed, for example, by eyewear that is not clean, we may miss information or receive distorted information. As a result of missing or distorted visual data we may make incorrect decisions.

In addition to physical eyesight, we also have a means of visualizing our world internally. We picture things in our mind, processing images of the present, imagining little scenes, remembering people, objects or events, or planning for the future. Visualization is like an eye that views the universe through the lens of our thoughts.

People without eyesight “see” the universe through their other senses. For the purposes of this article, visualization is any three-dimensional mental reconstruction of the physical world.

Being cognizant of the present is essential to survival. The image (or other sensory evidence) of the oncoming vehicle is transmitted to the brain and the brain decides whether or not to step in front of it. Visualizing the past or future is much less important, but is sometimes useful and often entertaining. Reviewing fond memories of the past brings joy to the present. Reviewing past mistakes helps one invent more effective methods. Projecting possible outcomes can be fun – fantasizing about a future pleasurable experience, for example; planning for the future is important, though not as important as it might seem.

Visualization of the past or future becomes a problem when it concentrates on negative themes. Dwelling on the past, it is easy to fall into regret, and worrying about the future is one of the most popular wastes of time ever invented. As we develop the bad habits of regret for the past and anxiety about the future we accumulate ‘dirt’ on the lens of our mind’s eye. Unhelpful negative visualizations of the past and future impede the ability to focus effectively on the present. We are worrying so much about losing our job, for example, that we step in front of the oncoming vehicle. We don’t ‘see’ it because we are to busy looking at a future or past that is not present. Our eyes work fine, but we don’t see.

So as not to be run over by life, it is best to clean the lens we use to visualize it. The best way to clean the lens of the mind’s eye is through meditation.

Medical Benefits

Meditation is the act of quieting the mind by focusing on something non-stressful such as one’s breathing or a quiescent word, phrase, image or visual point of focus. Medically speaking, this action moves blood flow away from the fight-or-flight center of your brain and toward the calming center of your brain – so it physically makes your brain feel better. Mentally, it clears the mind of excessive past imagery or future visualizations, freeing it to concentrate more on now. Now is where it’s at because life only happens now. It happened in the past, it will probably happen in the future, but the only time it is actually happening is now. You don’t want to miss it.

Clinical studies at the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center have shown that a daily practice of meditation for as little as ten minutes a day can reduce blood pressure, slow the heart rate and reduce the effects of stress-related symptoms.

How To Meditate

There are several kinds of meditation, but most center around focusing on something simple: your breath, a focal point or a word, phrase or chant. Personally I find chanting to be too much work, but I also find that I cannot usually focus on my breath without some help. I usually meditate by thinking the words,

“I am breathing in and relaxing my body.”

“I am breathing out and relaxing my body.”

Later, if I feel sufficiently relaxed, I might switch to,

“I am breathing in and relaxing my mind.”

“I am breathing out and relaxing my mind.”

This is part of a meditation practice whose origin is attributed to Buddha, but there are many meditations out there. The best thing is to pick one that suits you and try to do it daily. People may call this a Buddhist meditation because it originates in the Buddhist tradition, but there is very little difference in the mechanics of meditation between one teaching and another. All meditation involves focusing the mind on a point of focus like the breath, a word, a phrase or a paragraph or a mental image. Meditation does not have to be a religious or spiritual practice, but it can be that as well.

I have a pretty much daily meditation practice – actually I meditate more often than I clean my glasses. I enjoy the sense of calm and happiness I derive, and the freedom from regret and anxiety that allows me to concentrate on the present. Using a mind in which extraneous thought has been reduced, the world comes sharply into focus. Each detail seems poignant and precious, since I know that in a moment the moment will be gone. These moments make up our lives. We should try not to miss them.

Source
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)