October 05, 2012

Searching for Nothing

Novice meditators often think the goal of their practice should be freeing their minds of all thoughts. Rather than eliminate thinking, you could say that one of the basic skills to develop in meditation is to be able to hold and sustain contradictory thoughts—calming the impulse to eliminate the opposition. One obvious example has to do with sitting still. You want to sit still, so can you have the thought to move and go on sitting still? Or do you have to do what the thought says?

If sitting still means eliminating the thought of moving, you may find meditation difficult—because the way to remove thoughts is to tighten muscles, and this makes sitting quite painful. Holding on to a thought, such as, "I am not going to move," also tightens muscles. This is what you are busy doing a good deal of the time, so if you are serious about releasing and calming the body and the mind, thoughts are going to be popping up one after the other. The trick is not to mind.


IN THIS ISSUE

Thoughts on Thinking

http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/587

Meditation 101

http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/1307


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