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Meditation Misconception #1: I have to stop thinking.
Submitted by Susan Piver on Wed, 3/9/2011, 11:42am
Often when I ask people if they’ve ever thought about a meditation practice, they look at me like are you crazy, there is way, way too much going on up here (pointing to head) and there is no way I can stop thinking.
The #1 biggest misconception about meditation practice is that it involves clearing the mind of thought, like you sit down and pull some kind of meditation emergency brake. Or at the very least, if you can’t stop thought altogether, you should at least have only peaceful, positive thoughts.
Well, maybe. But there is something so claustrophobic about this.
What if instead of tightly assigning a value to each thought (this one means I’m awesome…no, a nincompoop …I’ve got to try harder…no one likes me…everyone likes me…), you could hold each one in the cradle of loving kindness? Rather than judging yourself by your thoughts, you could appreciate them for their vibrancy. Rather than identifying your life as good when your thoughts are positive and bad when they’re not, you could identify with this precious person who is thinking them. She is alive. She is good. She is brilliant. She always comes back to try again. What’s not to love?
What I wish for you today (OK, every day) is that you could open your heart to your self and in so doing, allow yourself to be touched by this world. In your responsiveness (not your defensiveness) you will find all the love, creativity, joy, and auspicious coincidence that you search for. This, by the way, is fearless. It has way more to do with vulnerability than impenetrability.
Such is meditation practice. It has nothing to do with stopping thought and everything to do with appreciating the thinker exactly as he is. Try it.
Some more thoughts on meditation misconception #1 in the video.
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