In meditation – to think or not to think is the question!
3 Different Thoughts
There are 3 different thought processes. We can
- think a lot
- think a little bit
- not think at all but probably not
Most people think way too much or more than they want to. The most common complaint that I get from people is they can’t stop thinking; outside of meditation and also in meditation.
Three Important Questions To Know
- What should I think about in meditation?
- Am I supposed to try to stop thinking?
- How do I do that?
How To Stop Thinking?
First lesson to learn in meditation is to not try to stop thinking. It will definitely have the opposite effect. If someone tells you not to think of an orange camel, that’s exactly what you will think about; your mind tends to focus on that. So, to stop thinking, isn’t going to work. It’s probably almost impossible.
Our mind is a thinking machine and we are designed to think. So to not think is going to be very difficult. The confusion around this arises because there are transcendental state in the mind which does actually stop thinking. They are known as samadhi. There are different types of samadhi, they are sometimes called satori in zen tradition. To get to that state, it will take a long time especially if you are a beginner. To reach the state of samadhi, you don’t try and stop thinking, but there are ways to do it.
If you are not going to try and stop thinking, what should you think about? The difference between meditation and regular thinking is, in meditation you are concentrating on a single idea, you are focusing your attention, you are directing your attention and try to hold on to a single idea.
In the meditation I teach, we usually use a mantra, or a phrase, and we often use music to help to get into the mood and then continue repeating the mantra in your mind. The mantra usually is in Sanskrit. You focus on, you are directing your attention to that mantra, if your mind wanders, it’s fine, that’s very normal. You bring your mind back to the mantra and if it wanders again, bring it back; it’s like training a dog.
To Think Or Not To Think?
Well, you are bound to think most of time, most of your life, but let’s control it to some degree and direct it in a way that’s going to bring us to a state of greater peace. Think about one thing that would really help you in your meditation practice.