I think you will agree with me when I say:
It is easy to get confused with the idea of thinking during meditation when you are just starting it out.
You know how to do it, you know how to maintain a good posture, but what exactly people think about during meditation?
What to think during meditation? – if you have asked this question to yourself, then you are on a good track – because most of the meditator does not know what to think about during their meditation session.
But Today, I am going to explain to you 5 things that you should do during meditation which will help you to be a good meditator.
In addition to that, I will also share a couple of tips to increase your focus during meditation by controlling thoughts that flows like a river.
Without further ado…..let’s begin it.
- 1 What To Do With Your Mind During Meditation
- 1.1 Tips To Control Your Thoughts During Meditation And Increase Your Concentration
What To Do With Your Mind During Meditation
Meditation can be done on the breath, a sound, a form or on formless. These are often known as the object of meditation. For example, if you are meditating on the breath, then your object of meditation is the breath.
It does not matter what you are meditating on, the 5 techniques that I am going to share with you will remain same in all the forms of meditation.
To illustrate the topic, I will write this entire post with the example of breathing meditation.
Take a look at the infographic below and read the rest of the post, If you like this infographic, please share it.
1. Don’t Chase Thoughts Of The Past
Our mind is a store of garbage called thoughts. It has all the invalid reasons to pull out the thoughts from our garbage bin when you sit on to do something good.
Similarly, when you sit on to meditate, your mind will start recollecting thoughts of the past. From your very first date to your last breakup, almost all of the garbage.
Don’t try to chase these thoughts while meditating.
what you need to do –
You gotta bring back your attention to the object of your meditation. For example, if you are meditating on the breath – focus on how the oxygen is entering from your nostrils travels through the body, the inhalation, and exhalation and the vibration you feel due to flow of air in your nostrils while breathing.
When the past calls, let it go to voicemail, it has nothing new to say.
2. Don’t go after the thoughts of present
When you hang on to your attention, refuse to give up your focus and let go of the thoughts of the past, your mind will try to draw your attention to the thoughts of the present.
You will think about why are you sitting like a dumb ass, where are you sitting, about your surroundings, the room you are sitting and so on. As a meditator, you can not let these thoughts of present disturb your focus.
What you need to do –
Again, try to bring back your attention to the object of your meditation. I know it’s hard, but you got to do this if you are really a dedicated practitioner.
Your mind will give thousands of excuses to distract you from your meditation, but don’t even listen to it. Focus on the breathing(object of your meditation).
3. Don’t get lost in future
When you let go of the thoughts of the past and present with all your determination, you will begin to start thinking about future.
Your mind will think about how wonderful your life could have been with/without someone or something, it will think about you could watch a movie instead of doing this boring meditation or…
Maybe you could check your Facebook feed and the moment you let your mind drive you and pick up your phone to check new messages or emails then I am afraid to tell you that you just got beaned.
What you need to do-
The same formula, bring back your focus on the breathing. Whatever thoughts you are having during the meditation has no meaning in itself.
Yes. You heard that right. It has no meaning.
Most of the thoughts are just recollection of the things that we see in our daily life that had left an impression at some point of time on our garbage bin(memory. And believe me…often time, things that are taken from garbage bin has almost no value.
So, instead of bothering about future, be aware of the present.
Don’t trust what you see, Even Salt looks like sugar.
4. Don’t analyze your thoughts
As a meditator your are ought to observe thoughts but not analyze it.
Analyzing any thoughts while meditating will break your concentration.
For example, if you start analyzing the movie that you have watched last weekend then in a moment you will reach a place from where it will be difficult for you to bring back your attention.
And when you will come back to your consciousness and find yourself sitting like a dumb ass, your mind will no longer have the patience to carry out the rest of the session.
So, analyzing or examining any thoughts during meditation is like adding ‘one’ and ‘one’ and expecting the result to be a ‘zero’.
5. Don’t fall into the trap of Experiences
Prolonged meditation may lead to different kind of experiences. Both pleasant and nasty.
Most common among them is numbness you feel in your legs during meditation. I know its really hard to ignore it but no matter how painful is this, don’t break your attention. If you push yourself – slowly and steadily it will go away.
You may also experience some pleasant things like slowly rising above from your position, moving back and forth, a glimpse of an extended consciousness or any emotion – but these experiences deviate you from the path.
If you find yourself in getting into the trap of pleasant and nasty experiences then remind yourself that these are nothing but your thoughts and under any circumstances, you gotta drop thoughts emerged during your meditation session.
Whenever a thought bothers you, simply bring back your attention to the present moment and focus on the object of your meditation.
Enemies are the best inspiration, we can learn from them what we don’t want to be.
It is not that every thought is worthless, but we as a human being lost our control over it and we really do not know which one to pursue and which one to sue.
All the above mentioned 5 points are basically stages of thoughts that one can get into during meditation and whenever you feel like getting carried away with these thoughts, simply bring your attention back to your object of meditation.
Long story short – you should not think of anything during meditation except the object of your meditation.
Tips To Control Your Thoughts During Meditation And Increase Your Concentration
You can’t switch off your mind from producing thoughts, it is just the way it is. It never stops – there is no off button for shutting it down.
So, how do you control it?
1. Talk to your mind as if he is your friend
When I was starting meditation, I found it really hard to concentrate while meditating because I could not stop letting my mind slit from one place to another. I tried hard but failed.
Then one day I tried a suggestion got from someone and it worked. Here’s what I did…
I literally told my mind “Please stop Chattering dude – all I am trying to do is sit for a while and relax. Once I complete my meditation session, you can go wherever you want but please be quiet for now.”
Believe it or not…it really worked for me. Talk to your mind as if he is your friend and see how it goes.
2. Tricking your Mind – Reverse Engineering
If I say you ‘Don’t think about a monkey for the next one minute’ – I am pretty sure you can not stop yourself from thinking about a monkey.
Similarly, if you tell your mind not to do a certain thing, it will surely do the exact opposite.
It is impossible to avoid thinking about anything by telling yourself that you are not going to think about it. So, let’s try to do a bit of reverse engineering.
Try telling your mind to ‘stop concentrating’, ‘stop focusing on breath’, ‘stop observing the movement of air through your nostrils’, ‘stop observing inhalation and exhalation’ and see how your mind behaves.
This tactic may not work for all, but there is no harm in trying it out for once and see how it goes.
Go ahead and try tricking your mind with these tips today and let me know your thoughts about the post on the comment section below.
Hoping to see you again. Ba-Bye.
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