Sometimes meditation can be challenging to do. It is not uncommon when I sit intending to meditate, but my mind wandered here and there: thoughts of the future, memories of the past, feelings about things that haven’t yet happened, and suddenly I found myself in the roller-coaster of emotions. Meditation can also be challenging, especially if I’ve had a rough day. When I attempt to meditate, all the troubles we encounter throughout the day are carried over. And so, instead of meditating, I’m preoccupied with the many tasks that need to be finished.
At such moments, I thought I might need to outsmart my mind. The trick I use is pretending to be a hermit during the sitting meditation. You can give this trick a shot and see for yourself if that’s helpful for your meditation practices.
If you decide to meditate for 10 minutes, then pretends you’re a hermit on that 10 minutes. A hermit does not involve himself with (or care about) worldly affairs. He was entirely out of business. He enjoys his being and focus on his training – meditating and diving into the depths of the self. There are no chasing deadlines, no business to take care of.
At this moment, I pretended as if all worldly concerns were being left behind in the city, and I was sitting in the forest, free from them. During those 10 minutes, I learn to break away from the world, like a hermit did.
Every day brings with it a new set of challenges. There’s always something to consider, decisions to be made, and issues that need to be addressed. All of these things combine to form the shapes of our life. All of that is the root cause of all of our anxiety, worry, and stress. And getting away from it all for 10 or 30 minutes every day is like a moment of recharging my energy to be ready to take care of all that really matters (not just what my overthinking-mind falsely assumed matters), with a more clear sense and energized body.
We just step aside for a moment, gather strength and clarity to be used to better deal with all these things. Like Arjuna (a hero from Mahabharata Epic who became the inspiration for this technique) when he was a hermit. He did not become a permanent monk in the forest and abandoned his duty as a knight. He just stepped aside for a moment, doing intense meditation training, and gathered strength, which he would then use to better fulfil his obligations as a knight.
Sometimes we are so preoccupied with all the affairs of our lives that we are dragged too far and sink too deep. In moments like that, we naturally lose the ability to deal with these problems wisely. With a cloudy mind, instead of solving it, we will make the problem worse. Furthermore, with a weak mind, a slight burden will feel very heavy. So taking a step aside to gather some clarity and strength for a while might be an idea worth trying.
We’re so attached to the problems our life brings and all the stress that comes with it. Eventually, the inability to detach from those problems also means the inability to break free from all suffering it causes. This simple trick is a way to train ourselves for the detachment we need.
After we master “I’m a monk when I sit for meditate meditation”, it gives us the flexibility to detach from our experiences, not just be helplessly washed away by it. We then can train ourselves to be “10-minute monk” in everyday life, to provide us with a tranquil space to think clearly, sacred ground that reconnects us from our spiritual roots, and an energy centre that help us perform better in life.