Updated: Aug 28, 2021
When it comes to meditation, I often hear students say,
"I can’t stop thinking"
"It’s too hard"
"I don’t like it"
"I don’t want to be alone in my thoughts."
The mind's nature is to have thought. To control it’s thoughts is like telling water to be dry. The goal of meditation is not to control the thoughts to stop coming, or for us to be alone in our thoughts. The goal is presence, to stop being controlled by our thoughts. Through discipline in seated meditation, we continuously draw the attention of the mind out of our ever-pervasive fluctuating thoughts, and into the present by various techniques such as mantra meditation, single-pointed concentration, or visualization. Rather than allowing the thoughts to control our mind, scatter our emotions, or create scenarios and stories, we guide our mind to a uplifting mantra, or simply to the breath.
Meditation is not meant to be easy, for most humans, we spend approximately 16 hours a day in thought. These thoughts oftentimes are about the past or the future, which distracts us from embracing the present, and reacting from a space of clarity. You cannot be present in this moment, when you are in your stories, when you are in your head.
Through meditation, we are training our brain to repeatedly come back to the now, through mantra or breath awareness. Minute after minute, day after day, this awareness slowly but surely becomes clearer.