Will I have Profound, Insightful Thoughts During Meditation?
One of the biggest causes of suffering in the world today is expectations. Imagine how free you would be if every day you were able to just “go with the flow”, trusting that the Universe was organizing everything perfectly. Well, this is exactly what the Universe is doing but by imposing our ideas of how things should be, we end up struggling against the current.
This doesn’t mean to say that we shouldn’t have desires or plan for the future. Desires and plans are fine, it’s our attachment to their outcome, our expectations, that causes the challenges. Being non-attached and letting go of expectations is saying, “This is what I think I want, but if there’s something even better, it’s okay to send that instead”. That’s when the magic begins!
Opening the Door
While expectations in meditation may not cause direct suffering in our lives, they will impede our free passage into the field of Infinite Possibilities, denying us the opportunity to live a fuller, happier, healthier life. The process of meditation is to be effortless, using the vehicle of our mantra or breath to guide us to deeper more refine levels of thinking. Having expectations during meditation, wondering if the thoughts that come and go are meaningful, introduces effort and will keep the mind at a superficial level. Letting go of expectations is the doorway to profound experiences.
Mechanics of Stress Release
We begin our meditation by silently repeating our mantra or perhaps observing our breath. Immediately the mind begins to settle down. As the mind and body are inter-connected, when the mind settles, the body also begins to experience a more restful state. Rest is how the body naturally heals itself and the body heals itself by throwing off whatever isn’t supposed to be there – stress, fatigue, toxins.
The mind settles down and the body settles down until it reaches a level where the rest is sufficient to release a stress. Stresses are physical, we feel knots of stress in our shoulders, tightness in our back, etc, so when the stress is released it causes an increase in physical activity. This activity of the body causes a corresponding increase in mental activity and mental activity is thinking thoughts. The mind drifts away from the mantra and gets lost in thoughts. So the thoughts we have in meditation are an indication that stress is being released.
The release of stress forces the mind to begin thinking thoughts so the mind attaches itself to the closest, image or sensation, which is usually the things that are currently going on in our life. Sometimes the stress being released carries a particular mood or emotion, which may “flavor” the mind and the thoughts reflect that feeling. Meditation is a process of purification so, while we may be hoping for something insightful, most of the thoughts we have during it are just the garbage being taken out!
Even though the process of meditation itself is effortless, we need to have discipline in our approach to our practice. When you sit down to meditate, decide on the time you plan to meditate and stick with it. Avoid the temptation to jump up early to act on some thought you have during the practice. Stay with the process and when you notice your mind is wandering or you are wondering if a particular thought is important, gently turn your attention back to your meditation. At the end of meditation, when the mind is fresh and alert, is the best time to review any thoughts you had during the meditation and ask yourself if they are important to you.
The Karmic Trap
All thoughts originate in the silent field of Infinite Possibilities, rising like bubbles from the bottom of a lake to burst on the surface of our conscious awareness. Initially every thought is profound and insightful, reflecting our true essence. However, as they rise through the mind, they must pass through all our layers of karma, our stored memories and desires. This distorts the purity of the thoughts, resulting in them manifesting as the illusory world in which we live. Once in a while, a thought manages to slip through the “karmic minefield” unscathed and this is when we experience a moment of insight and inspiration.
Knowing the Difference
How do we know if a thought is important and insightful? Whether it was a thought during meditation or one that came during the day’s activity, ask your heart or Higher Self for guidance. Ask if this is your soul or your ego telling you what to do and listen to your body’s signals of comfort or discomfort. Ask yourself, “Does this choice serves my growth and allow me to serve those around me?” The first impulse from the heart is the true insight. The second impulse is from the mind and is usually clouded by doubts, concerns, habits and fears. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider our choices rationally but always remember that first impulse when making the final choice.
The thoughts and experiences we have in meditation are a reflection of what’s going on in our life so every meditation is a good meditation. We could also say that every thought we have in meditation is profound in its own way because it gives us the experience we need at that time. Meditation is a tool to help us enrich our lives, the experiences we have during the process shouldn’t be seen as the goal. If you want to judge the value of your meditation, look at the changes and growth in your life.
Enjoy the Gift
The key to life is to let experiences – thoughts, feelings, sensations and images, whether in or outside of meditation, come and go. Remain the witness to them all, without trying to hold on to or reject anything. Ultimately all experience is for growth and evolution. Instead of analyzing your experiences ask yourself, “What new state of Being has resulted from the experience?” This way you will enjoy each and every moment as the gift it is.