Meditation – Is the goal to have no thoughts?

When I talk with clients about meditating, they immediately conjure up the image of sitting on a cushion, cross-legged, trying not to think – and that’s when they say: “I don’t think I can do that”.  And of course they are right; because whenever you try NOT to do something, your attention and ultimately, your energy goes into the very thing you are avoiding. 

It was over 20 years ago, in an Iyengar yoga class, when I realized that the focus required to concentrate on the proper alignment of a pose, was my first entry point into meditation.   As an athlete, I’ve had the experience of being “in the zone” on a couple of occasions.  It is a feeling of complete focus and being present in one’s body, even as you are able to observe everything that is going on around you, as if it is happening in slow motion.   Although you have a sense that you aren’t thinking when you are “in the zone”, that isn’t really the goal; it is more of a byproduct.  It’s also not a matter of “not thinking” as much as it is focusing your attention on what you are doing and feeling so as not to be distracted by the stream of consciousness that is going on in the background.  This allows you to come into presence.

In the beginning, instead of trying NOT to think, actually pay attention to the self-talk that has been programmed into the subconscious. Thoughts that may tell us things like we are not good enough, we are not smart enough, or we are not thin enough etc. This allows us to become the observer of those thoughts rather than believing we ARE those thoughts.  We are then able to make a conscious decision to let them go and redirect the mind to sensations, feelings, sounds, or visualizations. The mind becomes so engaged and enamored with the present moment, that there’s no need for, and no room for, inner self-talk. And in that moment of presence, you begin to remember who you really are.

There are many different ways to meditate, and ultimately everyone needs to find what resonates for them.  There are visualizations, guided meditations, focused breathing techniques, Transcendental Meditation (TM), Kundalini and Qigong to name a few.  I have tried many ways to meditate, and I have personally found Qigong to be my favorite.  It can involve some movements that allow you to be more engaged and it can be done while standing, sitting or lying down so that it is accessible to everyone.  Most importantly, it has taught me how to FEEL and cultivate energy.  Why is that important?

We are all, along with everything that we see and experience, made up of a miraculous interchange of vibrating waves – Energy, also know as Qi or Life Force.  Developing a sensitivity to this energy also helps you to become aware of our intuition; the inner guidance that you are constantly being afforded if you know how to pay attention.  With this heightened awareness, you can consciously redirect your energy to alter any physical, emotional or mental issue you may be facing.  In other words, you can change your Life.  

As my Qigong Master, Robert Peng teaches us to say at the end of our Qigong meditation practice: “I am in Qi, and Qi is in me” or to put a different way, ”I am in the Universe, and the Universe is in me”.  When we meditate, it’s not about not thinking, it’s about feeling the essence of that mantra.  Feeling ourselves vibrating; feeling the energy of Love in our heart center; feeling ourselves fully alive, whole and connected to this expansive Universe. This is where we come to realize the truth: that we are, and always have been enough; that we are intimately connected to this Universal Energy, and that we are powerful beyond measure.

Let me know if you’d like to give it a try.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. altyazili

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