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Hi. I need some help.

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by gusb, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. gusb

    gusb Member

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    Meditation is also known for making unwanted thoughts go away. I have some unwanted thoughts every now and then, and, things got a little worse a month ago, since it started to change my mood. So, for two weeks, I did nothing. But then I figured I had to do something. So I decided to try Meditation. For a week, it worked so well. I can say I had NO unwanted thoughts for 7 days. But then these thoughts came back again. Actually, that's because I'm a worried person. I start thinking things like "oh what if I never get over it? What if those thoughts come back?." It definitely has a negative impact on my life, since I get all desperate. I want those thoughts to go away, but at the same time, I have a negative mind. It sucks to be like that and I want to think more positive. I want to believe I can get over it. Believe I'm stronger than my thoughts and I can make them go away. Because I know I am. So many people learn how to control their minds, how to think positive!
    But I've been having some problems with meditation for the past 2 days... like I can't feel relaxed. My body is relaxed, but my mind somehow isn't. I'm worried about so many things, deep inside... things like: Will these thoughts go away? Will meditation really work?
    Is this normal? I've been practicing meditation for only two weeks, and since I'm a newbie, that's probably quite normal. But I just wanna hear it from some of you guys, who've been practicing it for quite a long time. Thank you for reading this. Any advice will be appreciated.
     
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Gusb and welcome to the Project Meditation community,

    Yes, most definitely. Every meditation is different and sometimes it seems easy, and sometimes it seems hard; sometimes we can get deep and let go of all thoughts and sometimes we feel restless and full of thoughts. Whatever happens, this is normal.

    The thoughts can go away if you simply observe them and choose to let them go, and bring your focus back to your mantra.
    As for whether meditation really works, well I guess the millions of people practicing it around the world can't all be wrong (or perhaps we can, but I think the proof is clear enough myself).

    Even as experienced meditators, we still get times when we can't "get into it" or we're troubled by something in "real life". We just have to persist and remind ourselves of what really is real and what is not. And all thoughts are not real; they are not based on what is there in front of us at this very present moment of Now! they are created by the ego/mind based on the past, so whatever arises, we Can choose to let it go. Whether we Do let it go is another matter, but we do have the choice and that is the first important step; you can't let go of something until you choose to (are willing to).

    Stick with it, it will become easier.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  3. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Firstly, it's important to get a few misconceptions out of the way:
    A byproduct of doing meditation for a while is being able to shut off your mind when you don't need it, and taking thoughts less seriously in general.

    It's important to not get that confused with the purpose of meditation being that of "making unwanted thoughts go away". This is a side effect, but not the purpose of meditation. There's a difference.

    The purpose of meditation is to cut through all that is not you (your thoughts, your self image) to get to a place of silence within. This is where you are most in touch with who you truly are. It is from this silence that much of life happens. Many of your good memories stem from times where you are inwardly silent. However, you don't need to be completely silent during a meditation session for it to be successful. In the beginning, I find it helpful to gauge how seriously you take your mind during a session, rather than what you felt (guage this after the session, of course! haha).

    That being said, in time, you will see thoughts for what they truly are. Illusions. Nothing you think can ever take you to a place where you can never learn to shut off your mind. Your mind can be the cause of a lot of suffering, but you will learn how to stop create suffering for yourself.

    There is no such thing as unwanted thoughts, and the concept of unwanted thoughts is a thought in itself. Do you see where I'm heading with this? :)

    I've been through this before. In fact, this exact situation is one that i've faced as well...and many times I've wondered if I would ever be truly happy and at peace. I used to think too much and worry about everything. If I did it, you surely can do it. Meditation with LifeFlow will speed things up.

    Remember, the answer is always simpler than you think.:)
     
  4. siva

    siva Member

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    I'm in no way an experienced medidator. In fact, I've just come back to it after a gap of an year. I do have similar experiences as you - Thinking about the thoughts during meditation and wondering if meditation has been effective.
    However, when I go back to times when I meditated regularly and think about sessions which were less crowded with thoughts and worries, I find a pattern. The sessions where I had a 'goal' of wanting to come out of meditation better than I went in; wanting to 'feel' better immediately after medidation were the sessions where I felt immediately worried if I had bad thoughts during meditation. I also remember one of my friends saying this: your mind wants to be in momentum; it wants to continue thinking the 'bad' thoughts and when you try to control it during meditation, it rebels. One of the ways it rebels is questioning meditation itself. So, instead of thinking that you shouldn't worry at all, tell yourself that you can worry all you want; just not during meditation. Eventually you'll find that the better time spent in meditation would help you naturally not think about those things.
    It's easier said than done - I'm facing this myself as I'm coming back to it after a long time. But, you'll eventually get there. Just devote your time during meditation to just be an observer. You're free to worry after that :)

    Other experienced meditators are free to correct me.

    Siva
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  5. gusb

    gusb Member

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    Thank you guys for clearing things up. GilesC, thanks for welcoming me. I get what you mean. I chose meditation because I think it's an awesome way to just clear your mind and let go of your thoughts. So, yesterday I tried meditation again while listening to LifeFlow and it helped me. It was a nice experience. I tried hard not to let my thoughts bother me, even though it was hard. Well, I guess it's gonna become way easier as times goes by. I've already meditated today and it felt good to do so. I intend to meditate twice a day.

    Midnight, I didn't mean to say it was the purpose of meditation! I actually meant it is a side effect. haha
    But yeah, your post was really helpful! Thanks a lot! Yeah, thoughts aren't real, even though sometimes it's kind of hard to let go of them. But I'll be working hard on that! And it inspires me to know you did it! :)

    Siva, yeah, I understand. It's hard to be an observer when you've always been so involved with your thoughts. They can make you sad, angry, frustrated, happy, excited... In my case, thinking too much led to depression and anxiety. It took me some time to realize that, but I finally did, and now all I want to is get better. Going to a psychologist wasn't too helpful. She kept giving me ordinary advices that didn't help me much... And I DO NOT want to be put on meds. So, yeah, here I am now. haha
     
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    The mind can be quite the trickster.

    Thinking too much is kind of like giving too much focus on the thoughts that pop up in your head.
    If you focus on a thought, the mind will try to be helpful and produce the next thought, hoping that it will be relevant to the topic you are interested in.

    However the mind can't even know if the thought it produces for you is helpful, mind is kind of like a computer constantly asking "do you want to know more ?".

    When people are "lost in thought", and this is typical with depression, where people seem to can't stop thinking and don't like the rollercoaster of feelings the thoughts are producing constantly, what really is happening is that you aren't judging the thoughts.
    Every thought that comes up is accepted as truth, even when it is obvious that it isn't true. If for instance a thought pops up in your mind "Oooh I could just strangle that guy", you will know that this is not useful. But instead of just ignoring the thought, not giving it any energy, you give it energy because you want to defend yourself "Wait, this is not right, I shouldn't think like that" is the next thought that pops up, all because you asked for it by giving the first thought attention.
    Now if you give the second thought attention, a third one will pop up, for instance "I am a bad person for thinking this way".
    And there you go, you feel like trash all because of 3 thoughts that are not at all helpful to you.

    The mind fed you these thoughts because you gave them attention, and mind provides thoughts as long as you do that.
    But there is no judge in your head that says: "ah, this is a useful thought, this will help Gusb" or " This thought is not useful for Gusb, I can't allow it to pass through".
    Mind doesn't know this, it is up to your conscious self to judge them as appropriate or not.

    For instance:
    This is a nice example actually.

    You are just giving attention to the wrong thoughts.
    The thought that you are depressed is believed by you, and now your mind fed you another thought "I want to get better".
    And that can lead to a whole new train of thoughts that seem to make you feel like crap again.

    This is why in meditation a mantra has been made up.
    As soon as you focus on thoughts and notice it, you return your attention to the mantra, and the thought train is broken. It is as easy as that.
    Try it with every thought that makes you feel depressed. Say your mantra 2 or three times every time you feel bad. Even when not meditating.
    How solid is your depression really ?
     
  7. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Okay, I just wanted to insure you weren't thinking that way :)
     
  8. gusb

    gusb Member

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    Everything you said makes total sense. This always happens, especially when I have a negative thought. A thought automatically pops up in my mind telling me that I shouldn't be having that thought. Then another one tells me to stop thinking of that, which leads to a bunch of other thoughts, such as "What if I can't stop thinking of that?" and "I have issues." This all makes me feel like crap. Just like you said. Haha, it's incredible.


    Oh it's no problem. ;)
     
  9. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Very well explained Edwin, :) I have passed this on to my wife, as I have trouble explaining the thought process.
     
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Please, try the mantra technique.

    Every time you think something that feeds you feelings you don't like, say your mantra ( silently ;) ) in your head 2 or 3 times.
    It is ok if the thought pops up back in your head later on, just say the mantra again. The goal is not to stop the first negative thought, that is impossible, but the goal is to keep you from giving it attention so a second and third and fourth ( and so on ) thought can pop up.

    Now please keep in mind that this is basically a technique to help you ignore (some of) your thoughts until you start to feel significantly better.
    Over time, and meditation will help you immensely with this, you will learn to accept all feelings, positive or negative.
    I think Midnight can help you with that later on ;)

    But until you feel ready, try the mantra !
     
  11. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Hi Gusb,

    In my experience one trap that seems to emerge is trying to rate ourselves for success.

    For example, I find it more difficult to meditate in the evening than in the morning. Personally I find it much more difficult to meditate when I am tired and the physical energy levels are low. I certainly found some time ago that particularly so when I was very weak after an operation. I would say my mantra for a couple of times and then fall into a deep sleep. But when I woke up I would say it some more and fall asleep again.

    But I do think we need to be careful not to rate ourselves for success. I think we need to do the best we can in the circumstances we are in. For example, I find it best to meditate in a quiet place so that I can be as recollected as possible. But if a neighbour starts up a lawn mower (or worse) and recollection is lost, I like to persist with the meditation rather than say - I don't have ideal circumstances so I will give up.

    So it is important to just do the best you can - given whatever is going on in our life. It is still OK and worthwhile.

    Olmate
     
  12. gusb

    gusb Member

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    Yeah, it's been working. Really nice!


    I have a question. So, I've been meditating every day, and today I'm feeling kind of dizzy. Not sure why. And after I finish meditating, I usually have to sit for some minutes because I feel dizzy. Also, I've noticed that my eyes, sometimes, get crossed for some reason while I meditate. Maybe I've been meditating more than I should? I mean, I'm a beginner and I meditate for 15 minutes. I read that when you're a beginner, you should meditate for 5 or 10 minutes. I'm gonna try that!
     
  13. gusb

    gusb Member

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    Yeah, I know that! I won't give up!
     
  14. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Gusb,

    Yeah, when people learn Trancendental Meditation they usually start at about 5 or 10 minutes depending on prior meditation experience and build up over the weeks to 20 minutes and then 30 or 40 minutes after some years of practice. So if you're new to meditation, then do what you are comfortable with and build it up over time.

    It is common amongst people starting to meditate to think that you have to almost screw the eyes up or force the eyeballs upwards as if you're looking up inside the head to reach a state of meditation. This will tend to cause discomfort and strain on the eyes and also indicate that the person is focusing too much on their physical state rather than letting things relax and bringing the awareness to the mantra. If you notice yourself forcing your eyes inside your head, just recognise it, and let your eyes relax and come back down to a resting position.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  15. gusb

    gusb Member

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    Thanks, Giles. I'm getting better at it :)
    I've been feeling better. Today, I had some problems with obsessive thoughts, but I'm starting to understand them better. They still make me feel uncomfortable and I still worry too much about them, but then again I know I have to be patient... :) I try not to react to them! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
     
  16. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    If you react or start to worry, let that happen too! Remember, the reaction to the mind is still the mind :)
     
  17. Glenda

    Glenda Member

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    I'm new to meditation and am using guided meditations to begin with. I'm curious as to what mantras are. Do we make up something that we repeat over or is there something specific to use?
     
  18. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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  19. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Glenda,

    If you download the free Discover Meditation course it will guide you through doing meditation using a mantra. In short though, yes, it's a word/sound that is repeated, and is used as a tool to quieten the thoughts.

    ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  20. MeditationMan

    MeditationMan Member

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    I don't think meditation will help you keep unwanted thoughts from ever entering your mind. What meditation can help you with, however, is with training your mental muscles to control your thoughts.

    What I mean is, you may not be able to stop the thoughts from entering your mind, but dwelling on those thoughts is indeed a choice. The control over your mind that you develop from consistent meditation, can help develop your mental muscles, so that you can choose to think about more productive thoughts when those bad thoughts creep into your consciousness.

    I hope this helps.
     

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