Our minds, believe or not, are very much like a radio. I’m sure most folks don’t use radios as often with the advent of iPods and mp3 players, but back in the day, before digital tuning, we had to use a knob to find the station we wanted to listen to.
Turning the knob back and forth, we fought off the static until we would get a nice clean station to listen to. Tuned in, we would sit back and enjoy the music coming from our speakers, and it was easy to listen to once tuned in properly.
As meditators, I think one of our goals is similar to the way we used to tune in the radio. As we sit, quietly with our minds, we try to tune into something a bit different, silence. In silence we tame the static of our minds and we are able to truly listen to that space underneath. There, we can begin to cultivate the other goals our practice may call for. Whether that is compassion for all beings, equanimity, quelling anger and destructive emotions, etc.
It is important to be tuned into our minds during meditation, or else our “monkey mind” will get the better of us. In the stillness of our minds, the random chaos that is the thinking brain can be tuned in to a state we can comprehend the dharma in a way that is pure and unadulterated. The teachings are easier to comprehend and the information we absorb during this time of contemplation stays with us more.