Thoughts during meditation

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Thoughts during meditation

Postby Music » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:54 pm

When I meditate, namely by watching the breath, I find lots of random thoughts come and go. I don't cling to them, but they are still there just the same. Is that okay? Or must there be no thoughts? I am not talking about getting caught up in a certain thought to the point of forgetting the breath. I am talking about how you notice thoughts come and go EVEN WHILE you're watching the breath. Does that make sense?
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:00 pm

That's natural.

Just refocus on the breath. The passing thoughts will come and go.

In due time your mind will settle and distracting thoughts will cease altogether. This leads to single-pointed focus.
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:32 pm

Huseng wrote:That's natural.

Just refocus on the breath. The passing thoughts will come and go.

In due time your mind will settle and distracting thoughts will cease altogether. This leads to single-pointed focus.


:good:

It may take some time. Just relax. Then relax deeper and deeper. But don't fall asleep. Then relax deeper and deeper. But don't fall asleep. Then relax deeper and ...

zzzzzzzzzz

Dangit!

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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby lisehull » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:48 am

I have been meditating for four years now and still have trouble with discursive thinking. I just keep practicing and hope the rushing thoughts will eventually calm down. Some days are better than others, but from what I understand the goal isn't to have no thoughts anyhow.
:namaste:
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby Wesley1982 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:58 am

"clearing the mind" then eventually mental clarity and focus.
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:29 am

lisehull wrote:I have been meditating for four years now and still have trouble with discursive thinking. I just keep practicing and hope the rushing thoughts will eventually calm down. Some days are better than others, but from what I understand the goal isn't to have no thoughts anyhow.
:namaste:
Lise


For some people it takes years. One important thing is to remain in the present and enjoy the moment. Boredom often results in the mind wandering off into past memories or future possibilities. If you can enjoy the present moment and breath, then staying in the present becomes natural.

The point of single-pointed focus is to have pure untainted focus on the object (such as the breath). Even without proceeding to jhānas/dhyānas, such states are still contrary to afflicted states and thus work to remedy afflictions.

This is why after a solid session of śamatha such afflictions like fear, anxiety, desire and so on seem to vanish, though they're prone to reappear of course.
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:09 am

Perfect meditation is not a meditation without thoughts.

Meditation without thoughts is just another shape of meditation with thoughts. They are just like left and right hand. No one is better than another.

The key is understanding the nature of the thoughts and no thoughts. Both share the same nature, which is rootless and baseless.

Once you realize that rootless and baseless, nothing can shake you.

Now, your meditation can be shaken by the thoughts, because you feel your thoughts are very solid. You feel as if there a collision between you and thoughts, as if there is this collision between stone (the meditator) and stone (thoughts).

But, once you realize rootless and baseless, you will feel that there is no longer collision. It is like the mist meeting the mist. It will not bang and collide. It will just pass by without any essence. Rootless and baseless.

Because of that, there is stillness and serenity in the middle of thoughts, in the middle of no thoughts, or in the middle of anything.

There is absolutely no different whether you have thoughts or you don't have thoughts.

If you really find out this rootless and baseless at the direct experience level, and someone ask you - which one do you prefer, meditation with thoughts or no thoughts?

You don't prefer one of them. Any of them is not an issue, because they are essentially same.

Even you meditate for 50 years and you have 50 years of thoughts, it is exactly same with the meditation of 50 years without thoughts.

The key is in realizing this rootless and baseless.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby bunny » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:31 am

I've been meditating for over 26 years now. If you find it difficult to focus and focusing on breathing isn't helping I can give you a few tips that helped me and has helped my students.

If you have a flame, whether this is a candle flame, a small night light or a fake flame it is of no importance, it serves the same purpose. Focus on the flame, your sight will waiver but this is normal.

Imagine your at the top of a waterfall during your meditation. As the thoughts and worries travel through your head, imagine them leaving your mind and going into the waterfall, the water taking them away.

Also a clear quartz crystal helsp to centre and focus your energies.

It is best not to try to meditate if you have worries or concerns on your mind. Instead it is best to meditate later when your mind is calmer.

Having thoughts or no is of no revelance. I was taught that the purpose of meditation is to centre and ground yourself. Also to get your energies correct (re-aligned) before you start the day (in morning meditation) and before you go sleep (at night-time meditation).

"Dwelling on whether you have thoughts or no stops the flow of energy that meditation is supposed to have. It prevents this practice from achieving its full potential in you" Quote from one of my early meditation teachers.
Blessed Be,

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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby underthetree » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:44 am

bunny wrote:Having thoughts or no is of no revelance. I was taught that the purpose of meditation is to centre and ground yourself. Also to get your energies correct (re-aligned) before you start the day (in morning meditation) and before you go sleep (at night-time meditation).

"Dwelling on whether you have thoughts or no stops the flow of energy that meditation is supposed to have. It prevents this practice from achieving its full potential in you" Quote from one of my early meditation teachers.


This doesn't apply, really, to Buddhist meditation. Apologies if this is basic stuff to you but...

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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby bunny » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:34 pm

underthetree: that is no problem, I am not a Buddhist so my meditation pratices will be different. A few questions... Why apologise to me if you thought that this was basic stuff to me? and also surely the end goal is the same?
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby underthetree » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:35 pm

bunny wrote:Why apologise to me if you thought that this was basic stuff to me?


Well, sometimes there's a fine line between being helpful and being patronizing, and not knowing how familiar you might be with Buddhist concepts I didn't want to cross that line...

bunny wrote: and also surely the end goal is the same?


If you aren't a Buddhist the end goal might be very different.
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:50 pm

"In zazen, leave your front door and your back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea."

Shunryu Suzuki
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby Matt J » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:20 pm

I would say it depends on what type of meditation you practice. I've practiced in both Theravada and the Zen tradition. In Theravada, my thoughts would eventually quiet, but only during intensive retreats. In zazen, my thoughts arise and fall depending on my state of mind. Others traditions may have different views.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby oushi » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:27 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:You don't prefer one of them. Any of them is not an issue, because they are essentially same.

:good:
My biggest insights came in the middle of "monkey mind", while driving a car.
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Re: Thoughts during meditation

Postby bunny » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:42 pm

underthetree: do not worry about sounding patronising, I admit I know nothing about Buddhist meditation. Anything you say will not be taken in that manner.
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