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dealing with endless thoughts

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by brozen, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. brozen

    brozen Member

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    Hi, im new to meditation.
    i have been having much success and improving over the last 5-6 months i have been meditating. but i have always had a problem with 'overthinking'

    ill start by giving an example of how my mind works. 10mins ago i was downstairs making a cup of tea and playing with my cat. this was directly after i had been meditating for about 15minutes.

    i had a completely clear mind after meditating but then by the time i had made my tea, the thoughts and ideas started coming back into my head. as i came up the stairs with my cup of tea i was thinking 'I wonder if there is a perfect technique i can learn to carry my tea cup so that i never spill it, should i focus on the teacup, should i focus in front of me and keep my head up, do i use one hand or two hands. while also thinking, What is the best place for my cat to sleep to deter it from waking up at 5am every morning and waking the other members of my house up. i got on the computer and typed both these questions in google, then got distracted and (you get the idea)

    my mind keeps flowing from one thing to another. since starting meditation i have been able to at least stop WORRYING about gaining knowledge and learning things. i could definitely have ignored the thoughts of the tea holding and been content not typing it in google. However i feel like this is taking away the joy of learning and exploring new ideas.

    I really enjoy learning new techniques etc even if it is just to do with holding a cup of tea, but at the same time i don't want these thoughts consuming my mind. Is there a balance?
    I guess my concern is, how can i keep my clear mind that i achieve through meditation without it being muddled up by my inquisitive mind...

    Thanks for any advice you can give.
     
  2. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Judging from your post, it seems that you have the misconception that meditation is about stopping all thought from your daily life...which is the same misconception I had. Oh what fun it was feeling threatened by nearly every thought that had arisen! :p

    See, the mind and all it's behaviors are important and are given to us for a reason. Thought is a tool we use to make sense of what we can in this world. And look at the amazing advances we've made as a race as a result...

    Meditation is not about stopping or controlling thoughts. You can never control or try to make a thought disappear...to attempt to do that would require another thought to try to make the other one go away...and the result is what we perceive as an overactive mind.

    Meditation is about letting go of all of that. Letting all thoughts and feelings be as they are. A problem is not really a problem until your mind says "this is a problem".

    I find in life, it is best to try to see through the extremes. From your post, it seems like you're resistant to quietening the mind because you might believe that your love for learning might disappear...not true. The only thing that disappears is a reliance on these things for fulfillment. You still learn because you like it, but you are also able to just sit in silence when it is called for too.

    If you find yourself confused about anything, even whatever I wrote in my post...my advice is to not take it to heart. The greatest lesson/teaching is one of the direct experience of what is left after one drops all preconceived notions of what life is supposed to be. Trust your intuition!
     
  3. Luigi Domenico

    Luigi Domenico Member

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    Actually you cant stop thoughts, and the more you try, the more difficult.

    In meditation you are the witness, observing the thoughts...

    Its like if you are in a highway seeing the cars pass by... you focus on a spot, the cars are the thoughts, you dont follow any car with your sight, meaning you dont get absorbed by any thought...you just witness them, gradually the mind will fall silent.
     
  4. brozen

    brozen Member

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    ahh, I often find myself having these expectations about meditation which have come from movies/my own imagination about what awesome things meditation can achieve.

    I will keep these things in mind as i continue my practice.
    i feel like i've learned these things in the past through experience but somehow these lessons have slipped from my mind.

    haha i swear since joining this forum i have just conjured up more and more problems, rather than thinking them through, hoping to find a quick simple answer. but its quotes like those above that make the process seem as simple as it actually is.

    thanks for your help guys.
     
  5. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Same thing happened for me too...and a lot of other people from what i've read. From personal experience, I would also advise not becoming too obsessed with reading about spirituality and meditation. That's another extreme. It's okay to read about it, but when you desperately start searching for an answer through all of these things, your mind will end up getting confused, for one reason or another. We seem to all start out with the desire to get somewhere, only to realize where we are now it absolutely perfect.

    It's not about the words, it's about what's beyond them. :)
     

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