The truth about thoughts in meditation
We are learning something really important here about thoughts and the mind during meditation.
does not really matter whether there are thoughts or not. Our focus in
meditation and the state of receptivity are endeavors in a different
Now it will help greatly to start off our meditation
with a relative calm mind so we can find this state of reception right
at the beginning of our meditation. But before we go there, let's look a
little further into this state of reception.
A state of reception
We all know this place inside of us. It feels so good to be
in this place when we are, because we know we are so very close to the
truth, to answers, to information and to the Source. It is a state of reception. The mind feels open and relatively quiet.
Now the challenge is, how do we get to this state of reception? A calm mind will help us in finding and recognizing this place inside.
A pre-meditation exercise to achieve a calm mind
It is very beneficial when starting your meditation, for your mind to be as calm and
empty as you can have it be. The following technique has helped me to no end with emptying my mind and preparing myself for meditation with a calm mind. I am using this exercise on a regular basis. It is my best friend in helping to manage my mind.
A Pre-Meditation Exercise
This is an exercise you can apply before the start of your meditation or
at the beginning of your meditation. This exercise assists you to empty your
mind and clear yourself from surface feelings so you become clear, calm
and open; a great consciousness to start your journey of going within.
You can also use this tool whenever you need to empty your mind to calm
yourself. It is a great thing to do just before going to sleep.
Here is how you do it:
- Have paper, pencil, and a hand towel ready.
- Write down anything going on in your mind that’s occurring more than
just a passing thought.
- You can scream into the hand towel or twist it tightly to move tension out of your body.
- Take notice of all that is going on in your mind. Try not to think
about any of it, but if there are things going on in your mind that are
distracting you too much, then write down in a few words what it
is. It can be anything from trying to remember where you put your keys
to a major confusion about something.
- Don’t try to empty everything out; just remove the top layer of
disturbances – to clear a path within so you can focus within. If there
are any surface emotions connected to the thoughts, then get them out of
your body and into the air or into the towel.
- Then, look over your list and circle the one thing you’d say was the
most important to you on that list right now. Take no more than 30
seconds to do that. This is something you can think about calmly if you
want to later.
If, after you’re feeling like you want to be done with this
pre-meditation purge part, yet you still have something going on that
you didn’t feel like you could noticeably release, then you can begin
your meditation by moving more of the feelings about whatever it is.
(Moving your feelings means screaming, crying, dancing, etc. with the
intention of letting go of the feeling.)
When thoughts during meditation still persist
If we find ourselves very busy in the mind during
meditation—meaning the thinking part of our mind is running wild (opposite of a calm mind) there is something very simple that we can do.
Focus on something more then the train of thoughts in your mind.
For instance you could focus on:
- Your breath. This may be the feeling of the breath moving in and out of
your lower belly.
- Something in front of you, like a dot on the wall.
- The very reason why we sit down and meditate in the first place.
I personally do number 3, every time I meditate. Focusing myself on the desire in my heart to why I want to meditate, helps me to get in touch with a very deep longing. A longing for Home, a hunger for truth, a passion to be free, a desire to be with God. This focus takes over and all the challenges created by the mind subside and sometimes even completely disappear.
The key is to focus more on our point of focus than the thoughts which are distracting us in our mind. I wrote up 2 more exercises that can help us in finding our focus for the meditation.
Calm mind at the end of a meditation
important not to judge our practice in any
way—i.e., “that was a good session” or “that was a bad session.” Any
meditation session you do is a “good” meditation session.
with yourself and learned more about your current state of being, which
leads to further movement. It is important to treat yourself with
unconditional acceptance of your experience. This sets the stage for a calm mind.