Meditation Tips No. 3: Thoughts
Some meditation books give the impression that one of the purposes of meditation is to stop thinking. And this can lead some people who try meditation to feel as if they have failed, because there is always one (or several dozen) more thoughts appearing in their mind, when they meditate.
The thing to bear in mind is that your mind is where your thoughts manifest, and its perfectly normal to find them there.
The real aim of meditation, as far as thoughts are concerned, is to observe their arising and passing away without getting caught up in them. And through this process, you can come to be aware that ‘you’, the observer, are not your thoughts.
If you were to take the trouble to count the number of thoughts you have in a week, and I’m not suggesting you do, it would come to several thousand.
So here I am, sitting in meditation, and thought 7,209 of this week appears. What do I do? Run after it like a puppy, like its the most important, amazing thought that I’ve had this year? Like these thoughts control me?
No. I observe it arise and pass away, like I would a cloud in the sky, or the sound of a passing car. I don’t run after the cloud or the car, like some idiot.
And, in time, in dawns on me. Thoughts are just an endless stream transient inner impressions, largely based on what happened at work today, or what I saw on the TV, or what a friend said, etc., etc.
And when in time my thoughts die down, from a lack of attention, the question then arises: Who am I?
© David R. Durham
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