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Meditation and Thoughts
For many years now I've been pursuing a quest for spiritual awareness. Not content to be told about non-physical worlds, I began practices of meditation, self-awareness in the pursuit of Self (Atman), and principles of a more 'divine' nature than I had been experiencing in my ordinary day to day life.
It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher comes. So I found my teacher and so far have not been disappointed. I guess, however, that the adventures with my spiritual teacher are another epic story in itself.
What I have had the good fortune to experience though is the slowing down of thoughts. So much so that I am able to watch them. Silencing the mind is an endless pursuit, often thwart with more dangers than a battlefield. The experience became quite tangible. Thoughts feel like pancakes being dropped from above the head; The brain is like the frying pan, and its purpose is to cognize those thoughts.
Understand when I talk about meditation it is an involution of all external senses and the pursuit of stillness, centredness and lack of thought. I use my third eye as the tool to go inward to reach different states of consciousness. You can have many experiences during meditation, bliss being one of them. A thoughtless meditation is one to aspire to and difficult to achieve. Any space or experience of a slowing down of thought will rest the physical body. Hence the feeling of wellbeing and for some rejuvenation after meditation practices. You can see how people cross over meditation with relaxation and think it is the same thing. Relaxation is a result of meditation. Meditation has different meanings to different esoteric traditions, and the purpose is not relaxation for most.
So what does it feel like to not have thoughts in the head? Absolutely wonderful. The experiences can be fleeting nonetheless, they are refreshing and a relief. Mindless states have qualities of lightness, levity, buoyancy, and ease. When these states can be re-experienced on a regular basis there is a marked improvement in your health. The flip side of ease is dis-ease and you can see the frantic pace of thoughts is a contributing factor to stress.
Thoughts, as a tangible substance, is not easy to see or feel initially. You can probably understand the congestion of thoughts as making a pressure in and around your physical head. Notice the frown lines on the forehead of someone who thinks the world will end if they don't have some control over their thoughts or those of people around them. Get a sense of pressure in different parts of the head. Tension is a clogging of thoughts, like too many pancakes in the frying pan.
Too much tension or the holding of thoughts can for some people create headaches. A natural mechanism that's used when headaches arise is raising the eyebrows. Try it and see what happens. When headaches hit, our body has a natural tendency to try and ease the dis-ease. We lift our eyebrows and automatically there is an easing. Lift the eyebrows and feel what happens. It's like someone is lifting the pancakes out of the pan. Do the process a few times repeatedly and get a sense of releasing tension.
Chronic Fatigue Sufferers and those experiencing depression will have no difficulty experiencing the pancake effect. Incessant thoughts of unworthiness, uselessness, self-bashing. It creates a tangible heaviness, very physical thickness in and around the skull. Imagine if you could stop the thoughts from reaching the frying pan in the first place.
As the great Eckart Tolle says, he does not like the term Mindfulness Meditation because the practice of meditation requires mindlessness. The analysis of thoughts and negative emotions experienced in meditation is reserved for a more therapeutic modality such as Inner Space Techniques. There are crossovers here at times because watching thoughts actually can help slow them down. But once you have begun to understand what it is you are thinking about, the meditation process has turned from one of stillness to one of continual thoughts and analysis of those thoughts. You might as well be having a conversation over coffee with a friend.
Have a sense of awareness of the process of your thoughts in your next meditation. Watch the dropping of thoughts into your physical head and liken it to the experience of pancakes dropping into the frying pan. Every time you see the mechanism of thoughts, uplift and continue in the space void of thoughts. The more you practice the easier it is. Don't be too hard on yourself if you have failures and your meditations seem like a waste of time, this is common. Persevere, practice, go back to the center of yourself.
In the hub Third Eye Meditation there is a video which includes a guided meditation. Initially, the guided meditation is a good way to structure your practice. Once you have stabilized your self, you can drop the audio and do it on your own.
Don't give up. The benefits of meditation are many and worth the effort.
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