The first complaint of a new meditator is just how restless the mind becomes the moment the eyes are closed, ‘I can’t stop thinking, it’s one thought after another, after another, after another.’ And the problem of thoughts seems all the more apparent, first of all because they simply more aware, and secondly, because there is this misconception that adept meditators can sit down and within moments still their mind as they drift off on a sea of bliss; this is simply not true.
All meditators wrestle with thoughts; after all, the mind is a thought generator, so even the practiced meditator must learn to move through thought. It’s learning how to move through thought and into meditation, that’s the practice, it’s learning you can meditate even when there are thoughts in the mind. As Sally Kempton explains in her new book, “Meditation for the Love of It,” when there is a shift in perception then, “…the mind need not be completely still for you to experience the state of meditation.”
According to the ancient wisdom tradition of Vedanta, the Yoga Vasistha; “Consciousness plus thoughts is the mind. Consciousness minus thoughts is God.” The practice is to point the restless mind in the proper direction, which we do by bringing the mind to and object of focus, and gently return it, each of the thousands of times it wonders off.
In a post, “Meditation: I am Ocean,” taken from his book, Quantum Healing, Deepak Chopra explores the nature of thought and the challenges that all meditators face, so here I will turn it over to Deepak…
“Thoughts are like ocean waves. Rising and falling, they see only their own motion. They say, “I am a wave,” but the greater truth, which they don’t see, is, “I am ocean.” There is no separation between the two, whatever the wave might suppose. When the wave settles down, then it instantly recognizes that its source in ocean – infinite, silent, unchanging – was always there.
When the mind is thinking, it is all activity; when it stops thinking, it returns to its source in silence. Only then, when the mind touches pure awareness, will the real storehouse of Veda be located.
The experience of Veda therefore is not ancient or even particularly Indian. It is universal and can be had at any moment by any person. The whole trick is not to move horizontally, which is how the stream of consciousness normally moves, but to sink vertically.
This vertical descent is transcending, meditation, dhyan, “going beyond” – all manifestations of a mind that ceases to identify with waves and begins to identify with ocean.” Click here to visit the original source of this post
Sometimes thoughts run deeper than simple distractions, and continue to replay in our minds as a kind of mental feedback loop; these habitual patterns are known in yoga as samskaras. It’s through the light of awareness which is created in meditation that allows us to release all the old emotional and habitual baggage, to free ourselves of the samskaras.
Often we come to meditation with the expectation that we can ‘let go,’ freeing ourselves of all those troublesome and sometimes, buried feelings, thoughts or emotions. What happen instead is, meditation allows these mental blockages, emotional struggles and deep seeded feelings to rise to the surface of our conscious awareness, where once light is shed on them they begin to dissipate into the ether.
As your practice deepens over time you begin to slip into the space between thoughts, sensing and experience the spaciousness which arises. You become the clear sky, unaffected by the clouds of thought as they drift through the vast expanse your serein space.
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