Homework:Take one minute every hour to still your mind and think of a meditation object at the midst
Take one minute of every hour to still your mind and think of the mental object (crystal ball or Buddha Image) or still the mind at the center of the body :
Throughout our waking hours of the day except the sleeping time, we must train ourselves to be intimately connected with the inner experience at the center of our body. Item seven of the homework helps improve on the general quality of our awareness by setting boundaries and cultivating mindfulness. This eighth item of homework; however, builds on these skills refining our meditation in a more focused and specific way. It helps to make sure that the merit flowing at the center of our body nourish our mind us for at least a minute of every hour. At least once each hour we have the opportunity to align ourselves with the meditation object. Doing this item of homework will not only result in a constant flow of merit but also will increase the merit flowing through us hourly. Every activity in our lives causes us to use up merit we have stored up for ourselves in the past, therefore thinking back to the center of our body once every hour, helps in no small way to replenish some the merit we have lost. If the hour that passed by was already full of good deeds this practice will help to consolidate and multiply the merit accrued even further.
Benefits to practitioner
Our mind will become better able to stay at a standstill at the center of the body with the results of our meditation improving accordingly.
When we sit down for a formal meditation, our mind will come to a standstill more easily, facilitating the entry of the mind upon the central axis or ‘Middle Way’.
Benefits to others
Society in the midst of a person practicing this item of homework will be secure and peaceful.
Those coming in regular contact with the practitioner will find their lives becoming more peaceful, tender and fulfilling as an indirect result of that person’s practice.
Details of practice
Besides having the intention to practice this item of homework once every hour, it helps to set one’s wristwatch to beep once an hour or to set one’s mobile phone to vibrate or light up – as a reminder. As soon as you notice the signal, think of the mental object at the center of the body and bring your mind to a standstill at the center of it. If one practices in this way regularly, before long the mental object will start to arise in the mind automatically – and our mind will come to an immediate standstill. Once one becomes more adept in the practice, merely turning our attention inwards will cause the mental object to enlarge to the size of the horizons. When this happens, a new mental object, brighter and clearer than the last, will arise at the center, allowing the mind to come to a standstill on a deeper level.