The Silicon Valley Meditation Meetup Group Message Board › Thoughts are not the enemy to meditation
San Jose, CA
This week, one of the members of the group had a question about how to "do" meditation correctly because her mind wasn't getting as quiet as she wanted it to.
When learning to meditate there can arise a sense of wanting to get it right or looking for a particular experience to validate that you are meditating correctly. This is a natural desire when your learning to meditate but can be a hindrance to allowing the natural state of meditation to unfold.
The conundrum in looking for an experience is that meditation is not about having any experience per se. Meditation is about feeling yourself as the awareness in which all experiences come and go. You (as awareness) are the context in which content (experience) happens.
It doesn't matter then what is the content of your awareness when meditating. This field of awareness can have anything in it, (an experience, thought, sensation) and you can be in a meditative state. The all important question to know if you are in a meditative state is "As I am aware of this, am I also aware of my own presence?" If you are aware of your own presence then you are in meditation.
So thoughts are not the enemy to meditation. At first it is helpful to seek a quiet mind because it's a lot easier to "feel" the silent essence of yourself when your mind settles down. But after a while the seeking of a quiet mind can drive us to think, and this is when it becomes time to let go of looking for a quiet mind.
Knowing that thoughts aren't the enemy to meditation allow us to drop our resistance to having thoughts and return to being the innocent witness of the thoughts as they come and go.
A poem I read by Arjuna this week articulates this beautifully and fits perfectly in applying the law of least effort to meditation.
Give Up the Struggle
you are already That for which you are seeking
all that is required to know this is to give up the struggle
it is so simple
and when I say give up the struggle
it doesn't mean you don't get stressed anymore
this is so simple, so undeniable
emotions coming and going are not a problem
strong emotions come and disappear again
strong thoughts come and disappear again
there is only one tiny thing that could possibly
create a problem in any of that
and it's such a tiny thing
you can pop it with a tiny pin
the only thing that could interfere
with everything being natural and relaxed
is the idea that you shouldn't have this stuff going on
that tiny idea
"i shouldn't have this thought or emotion"
creates this wall within yourself
and then the sense of presence is lost
the thoughts and emotions coming are not a problem
what is thought?
it is an imaginary object
it is something that does not exist
it has no power
something imaginary has no power over you
the only power it could possibly have is that you go into resistance to it
if you fantasize that the object is real you could suffer
but the imaginary object itself will never hurt you
how could something you already recognized to be an illusionary object affect you, except if you resist it?
a thought cannot hurt or touch you.
it has no power over you.
beyond this what is left that is real to hurt you in this moment?
Edited by Brett Jennings on Nov 15, 2006 9:51 AM