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Good advice for quieting down an overactive brain?

Discussion in 'START HERE: Registration & Introductions' started by RikkeD, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. RikkeD

    RikkeD Member

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    I have been using Life Flow for almost 4 months, receiving a new every second month, so I am almost done with Life Flow 9. Before that I spend ½ year with Holosync, without any results whatsoever.

    So I changed product, in hope of better results, but I still don’t experience any of the “miraculous” changes other users share. I have a totally overactive brain, and it is impossible for me to make it stop for even 5 minutes. And I have read in the material from Life Flow that you are only meditating if you are in a meditative state (= totally quiet mind?), and as I don’t experience that at all, I am getting more and more frustrated.

    Does anybody have any good advice on how to make thoughts stop interrupting the meditation? I know that when I experience a thought interrupting, I should just gently go back to the mantra, but there are simply too many disturbing thoughts.

    I have tried to meditate with various mantras. The first month I used a mantra following the breath (so-hum), but my brain were capable of thinking a lot of thoughts between every “so” and “hum”. Then I have tried with a faster mantra, which I have been using at a time when I was chanting (nam-myoho-renge-kyo), but I still didn’t succeed in quieting down my brain. Then I have tried to meditate on the Danish word for love (kaerlighed), counting the breaths up to 10, but nothing seems to work. And now I’m just plain confused, not knowing what to do – doubting if I will ever succeed in learning how to meditate…

    I only listen to Life Flow through headphones, never through loudspeakers, as it is my only possibility, as not to disturb the rest of the house – could that be the reason for the missing results?

    In the beginning I listened for 40 minutes, which I have dropped, as not only my brain, but my entire body started to protest after ½ hour. Now I wind forward, so I listen for 20-30 minutes – could that be the reason for the missing results?

    I really hope somebody is able to help med, as I don’t wish to give up.

    Thank you very much from Rikke, Denmark
     
  2. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Please don't give up

    Rene Descartes, the French scientist and philosopher, said “I think, therefore I am,” a famous remark that has become synonymous with the enigmatic relationship between mind and being.

    As a meditator, I would say something like “I am, therefore I think!”

    I believe your problem is twofold
    1. You are trying to stop your thoughts. Although you are conscious of concentration on the meditation technique. There is a constant stream of thoughts that often you get caught up in. This is like watching a TV movie when you get so absorbed in the action you forget you are at home watching, you feel like you are in the movie. Then regularly you come back to awareness that you are thinking and want it to stop. If not careful, you can get frustrated. You sound like you’re highly subject to being distracted by diversions like inner thoughts or external sounds/activities. The trick is to accept the thoughts etc, but don’t dwell or get hooked.
    2. You believe that Life Flow will meditate you when in fact it’s only aid to meditation. You have the notion that by putting on headphones you will be meditating.

    I too, have fallen in to these traps and I feel deeply for your frustration. Personally I had to get back to basics. Forget about Life Flow for the time being. Try some guided meditations where someone is thinking and directing you.

    Try the free course available on this site; this is a very good start.

    If you can find it Paul Wilson, The Quiet is a very good start too, as is Ian Gawler, Meditation Pure and Simple. (I have no affiliations with these authors) these books helped me tremendously. The latter uses a relaxation technique and the former starts from the most basic form.

    Please don’t give up, lower your expectation for awhile, and get back to the most basic form of meditation. Start with 13 mins, 2 to settle in, and 10 of meditation and 1 to come out. By all means use Life Flow, it won’t change your life as such, only you can do that, but once you have the foundations laid with good basic skills life flow will help

    Kind Thoughts :)
     
  3. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    PS.
    Use guided meditations sparingly, as these can become a prop to lean on.

    Before I begin to meditate, as I settle in. I ask my mind to allow me the time to be still for X amount of mins. I ask for permission to release the past and not assume the future. I repeat this slowly and deliberately while I settle in to position. It’s like setting up a gatekeeper. I’m then allowed to focus on my present moment feelings. Surprisingly there are very few :) lots of trivial thoughts pass by, I acknowledge these but don't engage, when I do get caught, I smile with appreication of how clever my mind is and remind myself what I'm here for by repeating my earlier statement.

    I hope that makes sense :)
     
  4. KeithP

    KeithP Member

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    Hi Rikke,

    I agree with all Karmoh has said but would add the suggestion that you slow down, try to be a little less hard on yourself and keep things simple.

    Go back to Michael's free course and work your way through it slowly and surely. There really is no rush. Do not expect instantaneous results or magical happenings. If these things occur then so be it, if they do not occur then that does not mean that you are not making progress in your practice.

    I would also advise that you you stick with one method such as the use of a mantra. Do not add something else such as counting or watching the breath.

    This will only complicate that which should be kept simple.

    I am sure that all will fall into place for you and that your monkey mind will start to quiet down.

    Good luck and best wishes,

    Keith
     
  5. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi there Rikke,

    first of all I would like to congratulate you on being consistant, persistant and not giving up on yourself. I agree with all the great advice which has been posted for you and I have copied and pasted below the advice Michael sent out to everyone in a recent issue of "The Good Life" - make sure you receive this ongoing support from Michael - I find it to be really helpful :) :-

    How much value do you give to something that is FREE ?

    You may think, as many do, that something for free has no real value and I agree, this is often the case. However, please don't miss out on THE IMPORTANCE OF DISCOVER MEDITATION (a simple, practical and very effective course.)

    Here's what Rev. Dion Ward had to say about the Discover Meditation Course:-


    "I was extremely pleased with the Meditation Course. I discussed some of the course with a friend of mine who was aghast! He had paid thousands of dollars to learn what I had learned for free."


    Discover how invaluable the course is to you by occasionally re-listening to the CD's. Going back to the basics every once in awhile can be extremely beneficial and refreshing.

    There is more and more scientific evidence that proves meditative practices should be at the very heart of our health care system.

    Scientific research has proven that during stages of deep meditation the brain wave patterns of meditators alters and both hemispheres of the brain work in synchronization and harmony together.

    Everyone uses both the left/right brain hemispheres however research states that most people predominately use one brain hemisphere more than the other. This brain side dominance is related to distinct differences in a person's method of thinking, problem solving, achievements and intelligence.

    Right-brained dominant people favor visual explanations, utilize images and synthesize in fluid, abstract, intuitive ways. Left-brained dominant people are more concerned with the processes of logic, facts, analysis, details and organization, preferring verbal approaches to problems.

    One way is not superior to the other. It all depends on the task at hand. For example, right-brained people make better musicians, artists and theoretical physicists. Left brained people can excel in accountancy and chemistry. It's important to remember that success is achieved in the balance of all things. This is evident when we observe that many of the creative discoveries throughout history were made by people who used both the right and left hemispheres of their brains.

    Albert Einstein discovered the Theory of Relativity by fantasizing what it would be like to ride a beam of light into space. He then had to use his left brain to put the theory into logical words.

    Now, through a little daily meditation, you can balance the strength of your left and right hemispheres which will allow you to achieve your true potential.

    Check out the link below to see which side you predominately use:-

    Whole Brain Synchronization


    After almost two decades of clinical research, Whole Brain Synchronization is revealing itself to be one of the greatest breakthroughs in healing and personal growth.

    Through regular meditation you can dramatically increase your capacity to learn, be creative, memorize, be in charge of your moods, lower stress, resolve unwanted behavior patterns, and enjoy a multitude of other advantages.

    Whether you have meditated before or you are just beginning, I strongly advise you to listen to Discover Meditation before dramatically speeding up the meditation process with LifeFlow audio technology

    Have a great week,

    Yours for HUGE meditation success,

    Michael Mackenzie.

    P.S. Here are some links to what people are experiencing through meditation:-

    I passed my exam with 100!

    Luvin the peace

    10 months of Lifeflow

    Your Project Meditation Success Stories

    I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  6. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    I remember going through this same issue not too long ago!

    I thought wonderful things could only happen if my mind was completely and utterly silent. I would watch it waiting and waiting and wondering when it would quiet down. "Why isn't my mind silent?" "Why do I think too much?" "When will it stop?!"

    Have you noticed something yet? ...

    These are thoughts in themselves! Your mind can't be quiet, if the mind tries to be quiet. Your mind's reaction to your mind is still your mind.

    The answer isn't in forcefully trying to get your mind to be quiet. Rather, it is to stop taking your thoughts so seriously!

    You can be successful and experience amazing benefits even if thoughts come up. Thinking and having a busy mind are not bad things. You do not have to be utterly silent for extended periods of time to be successful.

    It is good enough to retreat to a place within yourself where the activity of your mind is much reduced. My meditation sessions usually last about 20 minutes too. It's okay if your mind is not completely silent. I don't think even I could get my mind to be totally silent for 5 minutes. But there is no need to.

    I don't take my mind seriously anymore when I don't need to, and that's where all the amazing benefits come from.

    So as thoughts come up, let them be thought. As a negative or positive emotion comes up, feel it fully. It's not something you do, it's just something you let happen. Acceptance is a wonderful thing :)

    Along with everyone else, I recommend Discover Meditation wholeheartedly. It is really an amazing, simple, course. I also recommend reading The Power of Now.

    Remember when you think you're stuck in a mind made roadblock, that the answer will always be much simpler than you thought :D
     
  7. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    On the same theme........

    I like Similes, the great Buddhist teacher Ajahn Chah was particularly good at these.

    As the mind develops calm, it is held in check by that calm, just like a chicken that is put in a coop. Once inside the coop, the chicken is unable to wander outside, but it is still able to walk around within the confines of the coop. The action of walking to and fro doesn’t lead to any great harm because the chicken is always inside the coop. Some people don’t want to experience any feelings or thoughts when they meditate, but thoughts and feelings do arise. The awareness that is present when the mind is calm, however, keeps the mind from getting agitated. This means that whenever there are thoughts or sensations walking around in the mind, they do so within the coop of calm, and so cannot cause you any harm or disturbance.

    From A Tree in A Forest : A Collection of Ajahn Chah’s Similes


    Sums it up nicely :)
     
  8. RikkeD

    RikkeD Member

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    Thank you very much for all your kind answers - they have been very helpful :)

    It is calming and reassuring to know, that it is not necessary that my mind is totally quiet while meditating – I did expect something like that, and felt like a total failure, as I wasn’t able to quiet down my mind…

    For the ½ year I spent with Holosync (60 minutes every day) I thought the recordings would do the meditation for me, but after reading the material from Life Flow, I realized I hadn’t been meditating at all! But still I overestimated my own “preparations” with Holosync, and thought I could start meditating with Life Flow after only listening to the “Discover Meditation Course” for a couple of days.

    Now I realize I haven’t tried to learn to walk before I started to run! I thought I had been doing exercises, that had prepared me for meditating with Life Flow, but as I have never in my entire life tried to meditate, I simply gave myself too little preparation to sit for 40 minutes every day

    I think I will start from the beginning again and just sit 10 minutes, following the directions in the Discover Meditation Course. I guess a couple of weeks should be OK, or can anybody say for how long it is best?

    And another thing: are there any “rules” for how long or short a mantra should be? It seems to me the two-syllable mantras, mentioned in the Discover Meditation Course, are too short for me, but is that better than a longer mantra?

    Again: thank you very much for the quick replies - I now realize I don't have to sit alone with my questions and frustrations :)
     
  9. ChilliPeppa

    ChilliPeppa Guest

    Hi Rikke,
    It's OK to have thoughts during meditation. It is expected to have thoughts during meditation. The point is to passively control the "monkey mind" by observing how thoughts arise. When a thought comes just observe it and let it go as soon as you notice it, then go back to the mantra. It does get easier!
    You can pick any mantra that feels right for you. Depends on the mantra and the individual. For those with very active minds sometimes a short mantra is better. Anyway I think you will find that the mantra can change and take on it's own character so to speak. It will seem to sound different or fade etc. There are basically three aspects to mantras so not all are the same - sound (vibrational effect on the body and nervous system), meaning (as in prayer type mantras or names of God), and the aspect of no meaning to a sound which helps in the mind not attaching to the mantra in the usual way we connect with words. When it comes down to really meditating though just about any mantra will get you there, some more powerfully than others. I think one of the best mantras to start out with is "Ram". It is pleasant to "hear" inside and tends to take on it's own rhythm easily and is very calming to most people.
    It's Ok to change your mantra after some time if you feel the need to. Over the course of thirty years I have changed mantras three times. Each time was a most beneficial change.
    So anyway my suggestion would be to chose one that sounds pleasant and calming and easy to focus on and that you can 'live with' for quite a while in order to gain it's benefits. And don't worry about thoughts. Just njoy the mantra. Good luck to you.
     

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