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Meditation and thoughts – 1

To anyone who’s tried meditating, we know it is hard. As beginners, the first thought is, “Are we doing this right?”. And then the thoughts never cease to flow. One after another after another they come, bringing a whole host of memories, both pleasant and unpleasant, catapulting us into the distant future, and suddenly yanking us back again into the past. Is this how meditation is always supposed to be? So many mystic / yogic accounts speak of supernatural states, kaleidoscopic lights, unblemished ecstasy and myriad other things. What to make of it? I don’t know, but here are a few pointers I came across in a book called Waking Up by Sam Harris, that might help in meditation practice.

The problem is not thoughts themselves but the state of thinking without knowing that we are thinking.
In fact, thoughts of all kinds can be perfectly good objects of mindfulness.
In the early stages of one’s practice, however, the arising of thought will be more or less synonymous with distraction—that is, with a failure to meditate.
Most people who believe they are meditating are merely thinking with their eyes closed.

Continued in tomorrow’s post…

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