meditation blues: too many thoughts!
people often mention to me that they have trouble meditating.
they complain that their mind is going crazy, super-active, with a ton of thoughts about meaningless stuff like errands to run later in the day, or a shopping list, or even more meaningful constructs like work-related problems or creative projects.
what to do in meditation when the thoughts are running wild and rampant?
does it mean you're an unsuccessful meditator, if you have thoughts?
how come all meditations aren't deep, and effortless, all the time?
hey, thoughts in meditation are NO BIG DEAL -- it's actually a good symptom, it means that purification of your system (which is the point of meditation, or the actual behind-the-scenes mechanism imbedded in meditation) is working. what happens is that when you start to meditate, your body starts to relax, like sleep -- and, like in sleep, it starts to throw off stresses. they might be stresses from that day, or week, or year, or way way way before.
doesn't matter where the stresses originated -- but the expression, physiologically, of those stresses being purified as they are spun out of your nervous system is, you guessed it, thoughts.
gak! what to do with those pesky thoughts?
just let the thoughts run, so what, who cares.
just keep on your meditation technique and don't think you're meditating badly. you're not.
pretty soon you'll find you're meditating and the thoughts are there, somewhere, running, and you don't even really pay attention to them, even though you're aware of their chatter.
after a mental-chitty-chat kind of meditation, I'm hardly ever aware of WHAT I was thinking -- just, I know I was having lists and stuff flash through. or daydreamy streams of conversation with people.
doesn't matter. & having thoughts is definitely NOT an impediment to meditating -- doesn't mean your meditation isn't successful or deep.
quite the contrary, actually.
GOOD DAYS & BAD DAYS
it's a little-known aspect of meditation, as a spiritual adventure, that you have good days and bad days...
(this means, you went really deep and that depth set some really deep purifying in motion -- so the next few episodes will be about experiencing the symptoms of purification as whatever stresses and strains were imbedded in your neuro-physiology are being spun off, and released from your system.)
but after that round of uncomfortable meditations -- the next time you go deep, you'll find it's even deeper than your earlier 'deep' experiences. you cleared some major gunk out, now you're free to experience more, inside.
(of course, most people don't know about the ups and downs, and even plateaus, in meditation, so they just give up in frustration when they hit the awkward moments, convinced they're no good at meditating, or thinking it's not worth it. when in fact, that discomfort is the very symptom that the meditation is working!!! how counter-intuitive is THAT?!)