Watching Your Breath:
Watching the disturbance of the mind is the whole purpose of meditation. Relaxation will eventually happen as a natural consequence of observing and accepting your thoughts, but this won’t happen in a day or two – it will take a little longer. A day will come when you will be sitting in meditation as usual, and you will suddenly realize that both your mind and body are very quiet, but you are fully awake. For the first time, in that purity, in that clarity, in that magnanimous moment, when both your body and mind have become quiet, your Self awakens to a totally different reality.
That is all the difference there is between Awakening and being asleep. This is the Buddha’s middle path. What is the middle path? The middle path is not about avoiding the extremes of life; he was talking about avoiding the extremes of the mind and the body. The middle path is just keeping your mind alert enough to stay awake, and your body relaxed enough to be here in the present moment. Buddha’s middle path is quite literally the path between the mind and the body, where you are. Buddha taught for almost 40 years after his Enlightenment, and the only method he taught was “Watching the Breath”.
Just a simple process of watching your breath will reveal the secrets of your mind and body. The effort you put in to stay with the breath will help you to understand the actual functioning of your mind. What exactly is your mind saying when you are meditating? Your mind is just trying to qualify your actions. Every time you express your desire to watch the breath, it begins to think about it. The mind simply does not know the difference between watching the breath and thinking about it.
All the mind knows is thoughts. It just cannot understand a simple process of watching the breath. It has to make it complicated by constantly talking about it. It tries to qualify the action of watching the breath in every which way it can. This will continue to happen until you develop the necessary confidence and understanding of watching the breath. The mind continues to interfere because you are not sure about the process of watching the breath. The day you become sure about your meditation, your mind will begin to quieten.