One of the most common problems people tell me about in relation to meditating is this…
“I’ve tried but my mind just won’t go still”
Some people even stop meditating because this happens!!!
OK (rubs hands together with glee) let’s do some myth busting shall we?
MYTH: If I’m thinking I’m not very deep
WRONG: The experience is subjective
The experience of your mind “going still” is entirely subjective. There is no correlation between the depth of your meditation and what you experience.
Researchers wired up meditators’ brains to measure how deep they go into alpha, delta, theta etc. They also asked the meditator to report on their experience. There was absolutely NO relationship between depth of meditation experienced and how deep into alpha or delta they went.
Indeed even the opposite was true. Very often a subject would ask to have those results scrapped as their mind was going all over the place and they thought they hadn’t gone very deep, when they had been right down in delta.
So ignore what you experience. Just keep coming back to the mantra, or whatever is the focus of your meditation.
It actually makes perfect sense that you would have more thoughts, as you are go deeper into untapped places within your unconscious mind.
MYTH: If I’m thinking it’s bad
WRONG: You’re accessing new parts of your mind and clearing them out
When thoughts come up, it’s a good thing. It’s this bringing into consciousness of previously repressed material that makes meditation so beneficial. You are tapping into and accessing deeper and deeper parts of your mind.
So thoughts are good, just keep coming back to the mantra.
MYTH: If I can’t make my mind go blank I should give up
WRONG: It’s the practice of meditation that brings the benefits, not the experience you have
Whether you are thinking or your mind goes blank, or whether you go into a really deep silent mind state is irrelevant. You get the benefits from meditation from doing it, not from what you experience whilst you are doing it.
Think of it like going to the gym. Those days when you are working really hard, you are stretching, pushing your muscles further you are actually doing more good than on the days when it’s really easy.
Also – deciding to give up meditating because you think you’re not good is like giving up practising the piano because you’re not a concert pianist the first time. NOOOOO!! That’s why you should practice more, especially if you want to get the benefits anyway.
Here is a great mantra to help remove obstacles, especially to things like meditating.
Om Gum Gunapataye Namaha