I’ve been meditating for 3 days now and even in that short period of time, I’ve come to realize how difficult it is to do well. As I walked Scooter Wednesday night, it occurred to me that my consciousness is not unlike an untrained dog on a leash. If you have a dog, you know that when you are initially training (or retraining in our case) your dog to walk on a leash, he wants to make it his walk. However, that’s not the point of a walk (or of training a dog in general). The dog must always know that he is not alpha dog and on walks, this means that he walks beside you on a loose leash, not lunging here or smelling there. Walks can be extremely frustrating for both you and the dog if this goal is not constantly enforced. Also, if the dog cannot walk on a leash with the understanding of the structure, he can never be let off the leash to experience true freedom.
Meditation is like taking your mind for a walk on a leash. The goal of meditation is to achieve control over your mind. If you let it, your mind will go wherever it feels like, uncontrolled and typically badly behaved. Through meditation, you can control your mind. In reality, this is what your mind wants, to understand its place in the world and to know the structure of that world just like a dog is only well behaved when it fits into the hierarchy, not only in his own doggy world but also in yours.
This probably isn’t some amazing insight to people who are experienced with meditation but I keep coming back to it as I notice my mind wandering in both my meditations and in my daily life. My mind is undisciplined and therefore badly behaved. I can’t come up with new ideas either to write about or to develop on in code if my mind is undisciplined. It is my goal over the next 40 days of meditation to gain back the control of my mind that has been lost. If I am successful, I expect to have a consciousness that can not only walk well on the leash of meditation but also often times be let off the leash with no fear of poor behavior. Only through discipline can my mind really experience true freedom. Only through the training of meditation can my mind be allowed to explore freely ideas in a directed manner.