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Cannot Stop Thinking?

Manish Suwal Enwil Overlooking Bhaisepati
I have been meditating for a while just to make myself feel good that I’m meditating. I didn’t see any change in my thoughts and feelings.

Today I thought of doing a 20 minute serious meditation. I kept alarm in exactly 20 minutes and started meditating.

The main goal for me was to not think of anything during this 20 minute session. It was brutal. I couldn’t stop thinking. My whole awareness was shifted to the thought that I shouldn’t think and hence, I was thinking.

I tried bringing my awareness and focus to my breath. I’d do it for some seconds and then again my mind used to wander. Just figuring how much thought I’ve had in that session, I figured that I think a lot. Even if my conscious mind doesn’t think, my unconscious mind thinks on auto pilot.

I was focusing entirely on my thoughts. After I became clear in my head, I found that I think in every step, every second. That’s probably the main reason I’m never on the present moment.

I was struggling to not think. I tried focusing on breath, focusing on my whole body, but it didn’t work. I’d not think for a second and then think instantly.

I found this 20 minute session very very long. It was painful, to be honest. I just wanted it to end really bad. So, I stopped the meditation 7 minutes before my time.

After that I felt awesome, but I know I have a lot more to do to reach that trance like state where I’ll be in the present moment. I’m not living in the present moment right now. I’m scattered at the past, regrets, dreams, future, etc. My brain thinks of it every second.

I was focusing closely on my thoughts. I tried to not think and be in the present moment. But my brain would instantly think of something and associate the moment with some past events. I just realized that I think a lot, and all those thoughts are useless. I’m trying very hard to get rid of it.

Here’s how I usually meditate:

  • Look at the time and try to meditate for 5 minutes.
  • Don’t put alarm. Stop the session when you like naturally.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  • Usually the mind thinks of something and tries to wander.
  • Focus on your breath as soon as your brain tries to think.
  • If you cannot stop thinking, then don’t resist your thoughts, let it flow.
  • Let all the thoughts come. I imagine keeping my thoughts on a bubble and letting it fly.
  • Focus on your breath.
  • After sometime, open your eyes. Usually I don’t meditate for the amount of time I specify.

The biggest drawback in this method is that I don’t put alarm. It simply doesn’t work for me. If I don’t keep alarm, I’ll always do less than the destined time. If I allocate 10 minutes, I’ll be done in 7 minutes. If 20 minutes, hardly 15 minutes.

So, I think the better approach, at least for me, is to keep an alarm and not stop the session until the alarm rings. That way, I won’t end the session early. I never over do the session, so the alarm is important here.

I’m not meditating to achieve enlightenment. I’m meditating to get myself on present moment and help move forward in my day to day activities. I’m able to write without any random thoughts right now, because I just meditated for 14 minutes. If I hadn’t done that, then I’d have to struggle to write a blog post.

That’s it, meditating for just 5 minutes will help you focus on the present moment. The effect it has on your daily activities is priceless. Meditation doesn’t have to be so painful and difficult.

Just try and not think, that’s it. It’s like allocating a time every day to not think for some time. You might be surprised that it’s pretty difficult to not think.

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