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meditation thoughts

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by spensaraba, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. spensaraba

    spensaraba Member

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    being a newb to meditation i find the thoughts that i am trying to push away very interesting. I never thought of myself as someone who cares too much about what other people think, but in the early minutes of my meditation i find that my thoughts are consumed with other people. Particularly on their sentiments toward myself.

    It almost makes me feel weak that my thoughts -conscious or not- are filled with how i am perceived. Perhaps this is normal, but it makes me feel boring and inhibited. Whatever the case may be, i think its important to learn these things about myself. Change what i can and accept the rest.

    I know, not much to reply to. Just voicing my post-med thoughts.
     
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi spensaraba and welcome to the community,

    Yes, thoughts will arise, especially during the early stages of learning meditation practice. It isn't You truly who finds the thoughts 'interesting', but your mind. You are just observing the thoughts arising, but it is your mind that it grabbing hold of them and creating this feeling of 'interesting'. Whatever arises isn't truly there in that present moment and is not productive or useful to the practice of meditation, aside from letting your awareness recognise that the mind is at play and you can use that as a trigger to bring yourself back to your mantra.

    Whatever arises in the mind during meditation practice, observe it, accept it, choose to let it go and return to the mantra. It does take practice but eventually you will find less thoughts arising and the states of stillness lasting for longer and longer.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  3. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    The thought that you dont care that much about what other think, and the thought that you do (and the thought that this makes you boring and so on), are just... thoughts!

    Why not drop both ideas in the first place? (I love that sentence from mooji)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  4. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Every single thought, no matter what the subject matter of it appears to be, is of the same value and meaning. None, except the meaning or value you give it. Otherwise, every single thought passes. It is the mind that judges these thoughts to be something other than what they are, which creates the discourse. This is the illusion.

    You (by you, I mean the real you) only witnesses these thoughts happening. They don't really do anything to you. Your mind is the only one reacting and thinking about these thoughts. If you allow your mind to resist, you cover up your true nature. If you find that your mind has resisted, that is okay too. Accept the fact and let everything be as it is, it will fade.
     
  5. spensaraba

    spensaraba Member

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    thanks for the thoughts and comments.

    With the idea of practice improving meditation, should i set my meditation on a rigid schedule? I find myself stopping if i feel as if it is unproductive (not being able to escape thoughts), or just doing it for a different amount of time everyday. Would just like to know what the school of thought is on this. It makes sense that a guy doing pushups would keep track of the progress in order to better identify progress and such. It would seem to be the same with any other practice, no?
     
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Ok, before you should even consider putting meditation on a "rigid schedule", you need to drop your expectations and false beliefs about meditation.

    Meditation is always unproductive in short term. One day you have a great session, the other day your session sucks, or at least that is what it seems like.
    People think that the benefits of meditation will show up instantly as soon as they start, and even tho some benefits do happen quickly, the real reward comes after months if not years of regular meditation.

    Also, you seem to be under the impression that meditation is about escaping thoughts. It is not. It is about not giving attention to thoughts.
    Thoughts have this strange tendency to come up wether you want them or not. When in meditation, they come up and dissolve without you reacting to them. At least, that is what you need to teach yourself to ( not ) do.
    Allow yourself a decent amount of practice time ( like about 6 months or so ) to master the basics of this. It is very easy to react to a thought, and very hard to not-react.
    Meditation always works the other way around from what you expect.
    At least that is what I found out to be true when I started it.

    If you try really hard, in daily life you will succeed in what you want to achieve.
    In meditation, you have let go of this striving in order to become better.
    Too much effort will be counter-productive as you won't be able to reach the meditation state.

    Instead of putting yourself on a "rigid schedule" ( take it easy, you are not growing muscles here ;) ) think of it as allowing yourself some time for yourself one or two times a day.

    The goal of meditation is meditation.
    Progress can't be measured on a daily basis. Even thinking so will interfere with the meditation sessions, as having a goal, wanting to achieve something with meditation is also counter-productive.
    So, as dualistic as it sounds, stop thinking about progress with meditation and you will experience progress from your meditation :confused: Crap even I don't understand myself :D

    Don't feel put down about what I said, meditation really will have a great ( positive ) impact on your life. But since meditation begins with relaxation, and your words seem to indicate that you want to rush into relaxation, I needed to slow you down a bit.
    It is a bit like going on holiday.
    The first days you are really restless, still needing to get rid of the stress that you have built up for a whole year, there are things to visit, shopping to be done, trips to be taken.

    After a few days you settle in and hang out by the pool instead of running around.
    It is the same with meditation.:cool:
     
  7. spensaraba

    spensaraba Member

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    sounds like one of Sun Tzus paradoxical statements:)

    I dont think i know how to quote properly yet, but you sad something about not reacting to thoughts during meditation. What do you mean by that?

    When I said "rigid schedule" what i meant was putting myself on a 20 minute day and night schedule. Am i still off?

    And I have an excuse for rushing into relaxation. I am American afterall;)
     
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    I am not worthy !
    I usually compare how most people think with a thought-train.
    You see, it is impossible to stop a thought from coming up.
    Most people who start with meditation think that the goal of meditation is to "stop thinking".
    "Mind is evil, and it needs to be stopped" or something like that.
    Some even try to "will" their thoughts away with extreme concentration.
    And they proudly told everybody in the forum how they were now able to stop thoughts for at least 5 minutes !
    I know, I was one of them ;)

    Unfortunately, this is not meditation.
    So, once you see that a thought will come up no matter if you want it or not, what to do ?
    Well, that is why I tell people to try the free meditation course.
    Michael has a very powerful analogy there comparing thoughts with clouds.
    When you are lying in the grass, watching clouds come by, they come up, they pass, and they are gone again. Nothing you have to do, just watch.

    You can do the same with thoughts.
    Usually we have a thought train going. A thought comes up, we focus on that thought, and the next thought comes up.
    And we focus on that, and then the next thought comes up.
    Thought after thought after thought, like train carts hooking on until you have a very long train of thoughts.
    When meditating, you will have to learn that you don't have to focus on the thought. You can observe it, in fact you have no choice because the thought will push itself into your consciousness, but reacting to it is not needed.
    Instead, say your mantra, and because your focus shifts from your thought to your mantra, the thought simply goes away again.
    That sounds a lot more friendly to yourself :) remember, you are doing this because you are worth it, not because you have to ;)
    That's ok, we still love you :D
     
  9. veggietovegan

    veggietovegan Member

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    The fact that you are becoming aware of your thoughts proves that you are progressing. Most people are hardly aware that they are thinking all the time, and when you start meditating, you become aware of the inner world.
     
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Very true ! :cool:
     
  11. spensaraba

    spensaraba Member

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    thanks for the input guys
     
  12. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Sure, anytime :) !

    It would be nice to know how it is going, so try to report back every now and then ;)
     
  13. yesrod

    yesrod Member

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    Thoughts

    First of all . Thanks Edwin for your insights in this forum. I am grateful.

    Micheal Mckenzie stated that we average 80,000 thoughts a day. We truly know, if we are aware, most of these thougts are unproductive. Therefore, what valuable thoughts are lost while we meditate a few minutes a day? Just my observation.

    Thanks
    Yesrod
     
  14. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Thats an interesting question. Just for pure survival, there are no thoughts needed afaik. But i often experienced important thoughts for what has to be done (for example, google this or that for a customer), but as i just let it went by, i forget them most of the times. I guess a "Todo-List" with a build in reminder would be useful :D
     
  15. yesrod

    yesrod Member

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    Take Charge

    The only way to control your thoughts is by being a neutral observer. Try this experiment. Try to think of nothing but good thoughts. After awhile you begin to struggle and go back to your old ways. Try thinking of nothing but bad thoughts and the same thing happens. Now become the observer and do not personalize these thoughts . By becoming the observer you are now in charge. You may say "I can not stop these thoughts". Yes you can! With meditation you learn to slow down the body and mind. Your salvation has arrived. The practice of meditation will spill over into your whole life. We tend to worship our thoughts and belive that is who we are. We are real busy sorting this thought from that thought and it becomes tiring and frustrating. Help is on the way. Awareness, Observation, and Meditation are your prescription to a healthy mental life. Just my rambling.

    Thanks
    Yesrod
     
  16. spensaraba

    spensaraba Member

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    thanks yesrod, i like the idea of being a neutral observer. having no emotional ties to thoughts sounds very liberating. i just read your post and will try to incorporate that into my meditation and life.

    as far as progress is concerned i feel as though im coming along nicely. i set myself on my "rigid schedule" of at least 20 minutes at night, but still am being lenient on morning meds. i have become more aware - perhaps due to the increase in length of meds- of my thoughts being more easily dissolved. i have also noticed a sensation in the rear of my brain during the process of dissolving thoughts and have been using that process on non existant thoughts to familiarize myself with the feeling, if that makes sense.

    I think early in the game its about experimentation and becoming aware of whats going on in my body during these early stages, as many of you suggested. I also wanted to thank whoever it was that used the cloud analogy. that was helpful.

    thanks everybody.
     
  17. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Actually, mind will keep on producing thoughts as long as you ask for it.
    Nothing is lost, maybe only locked away in the fridge for a later time ;)

    But truth be told, I rarely meditate completely thought free. When all the mind-chatter slows down, the really important thoughts come up anyway.
    And if I don't want to forget them, I write them down quickly, and continue with meditation knowing that I don't have to focus on that subject anymore, so it won't return.

    So, keep pen and paper near you when you meditate.

    Pollyanna also told me a few times that the best solutions for problems she was struggling with came up during meditation.
    When the mind is less occupied with all that mind-noise, it can use all its energy on that one problem. :)
     
  18. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    For some people it helps to try to keep in mind that all thoughts are suggestions by mind.
    It is your task to filter out the the thoughts that you think are right, and forget about the rest.
     
  19. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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    On the subject of important thoughts or insights coming up during meditation, if you can't write them down immediately, you train yourself to remember what's important after you've finished meditating when you can write them down.

    Earlier in the day (maybe not right before you meditate) you can also make a list of the things you have to do so you know you're covered and can relax.

    Another thing if you're facing a problem is to ask for insight and turn it over to your Higher Power (within and without). Then relax. Answers will come, either when you meditate or some time afterward. Sooner or later....
    If your mind bugs you, just reaffirm that answers and insight are on its way. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010

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