Meditation

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Meditation 102 – Meditation Is Not About Getting Rid of Thoughts
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Meditation

Meditation 102 – Meditation Is Not About Getting Rid of Thoughts

Probably the number one misunderstanding about meditation is that it means getting rid of all of your thoughts. Many beginning meditators feel that thoughts are bad, and that a good meditation is all about eliminating one’s thoughts. They imagine meditation as a blank state of mind, devoid of thought or emotion. In over twenty years as a meditation instructor, this is the single greatest source of frustration and discouragement. Common examples of things beginners say include: “I am a horrible meditator, I just cannot stop thinking.” “If only I could stop my thoughts, then I would be able to meditate.” “I knew I couldn’t meditate, I cannot control my mind.” We then try to spank our thoughts out of existence and end up spanking ourselves.

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Meditation

The word “meditation” is typically used to designate broadly similar practices, or sets of practices, that are found across many cultures and traditions. A general consensus is that meditation is a mental technique that the meditator practices repetitively in order to attain a subjective experience that is usually described as silent, very restful and of heightened awareness, and is often accompanied by a state of bliss. What is considered to be meditation can include almost any practice that trains the attention, which seems to be the only invariant of all the usual definitions.

Meditation has been practiced since antiquity in many varied religious and secular traditions and beliefs. Since the nineteenth century, it has spread from its origins to other cultures where it is now commonly practiced in private and business life.

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