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Thoughts are good! so STOP trying to get rid of them

Posted Jan 22 2010 8:10am 1 Comment

The mind is a chaotic nuisance, a whirlwind of constant thoughts and ideas,  we meditate to silence the mind, right?

While many times this is the reason, I firmly believe this attitude is a mistake.

You can find a ton of websites that explain meditation techniques and ideals, including mindfulness and emptiness. But I've yet to see a website addressing the way mindfulness and emptiness interweave. There is so much information out there about how to rid the mind of all thoughts, we are told to take control of our wandering mind, and whip it in to obedient emptiness (exaggeration intended). Don't get me wrong I think striving for emptiness is a wonderful way to meditate and I am confident that it can bring about amazing results, but I've heard too many people decide that meditation is not for them (because they "just can't stop thinking") to think that this is the meditation technique for beginners.

So what do I think is a suitable meditation for beginners? The truth is the easiest way to quiet the mind is to replace the useless chatter with deep meaningful thoughts (which are naturally slower and more relaxed ). T he problem is not that we use the mind too much, it's that we're not using it nearly enough.

Think about it, must of us spend our time in 'auto pilot', everything we do is automatically done without much thought. We can go for hours and days without any mindfulness whatsoever.

So if you want to make your beginning step into meditation a bit easier (and I believe more productive) then start thinking, there is no reason to 'quiet' the mind as long as it's being used for a good purpose.

The easiest way to practice this is to:   

a) Take a specific subject that is relevant to your life, as an example let's take a problem you need to deal with.                                                                         

b) Before you start, define some general guidelines, let's say you want to examine the cause of this problem, and maybe work out a solution.               

(before you start the next stage do whatever you would usually do before a meditation session i order to relax your body and prepare your mind) 

c) Start talking to yourself in your head. 

Once you get the hang of it, you'll find it easy to block out irrelevant and distracting thoughts, simply because you'll be too focused on your deeper more meaningful thoughts to allow any space for them.

After you have done this for a bit, I would advise adding some 'mind emptying' meditation back in, you'll probably have much more motivation and ability to 'stick with it' once you have experienced what a little mindfulness in day to day life can do. 

Gabby

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Very smart and deap and stuff!
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