Sitting in silence thinking of nothing is not the only goal or application of meditation. It is just so commonly thought to be the goal that I wanted to address it early in the course.
The most common question received from readers is something along the lines of “How can I get my mind stop thinking?” or “How am I supposed to think about nothing?”. I also encountered this frustration during meditation and it still poses a challenge at times.
The first thing to get out of the way is that it will be pretty much amazing if you sit down to meditate and an hour passes without a thought entering your mind. This is Gandhi/Jesus/Mohammad/pick your guru of choice territory! So eliminate that as the goal for right now, if you can already do this, you don’t need this course…but I would love to hear from you, please email me a.s.a.p. so I can feature you on this site!
Now that we have that out of the way, what is the benefit of thinking of nothing, how are some ways to do it, and what should you do if your mind doesn’t cooperate with the ways to do it?
The Benefit of Having Moments of Time with No Thoughts
The biggest benefit that jumps out to me the most about having periods of meditation with no thoughts is the overwhelming sense of calm, peace, relaxation, and support that you feel in your mind. It’s really not like anything else. As you are able to consciously be aware that you aren’t thinking, this inner groundswell of calm happiness begins to exude literally inside your brain somewhere.
I’m not a scientist, so I am not sure exactly why this is. There are a ton of studies posted on the internet supporting many scientific reasons why meditation is good for your overall wellbeing. What I can tell you is that it is not just scientific psycho-babble…you will feel and experience it for yourself and instinctively know that you’ve just done something positive for yourself. That feeling, more than anything that you will read or believe about meditation, is what will keep you coming back for more meditation.
Once you are able to silence the chatter in your mind periodically, a lot of options open up for you mentally. You can bring a problem or challenge into focus and meditate on it. Sometimes you can literally download the solution into your mind.
This works for me when solving complex database design challenges. I take in all the business information during meetings and reading, then go into a meditation and when I’m done I have the database design in my head!
Another benefit of having no internal chatter is that you become open to inner guidance and intuition. I’ll sit in meditation, and suddenly an idea or image comes into my mind. If I focus on it, an entire scene, almost like being immersed in a tv show, will appear.
Sometimes this “tv show” will be directly related to an area of personal development I am working on. Other times it is a great idea for business or this site. And sometimes it doesn’t seem to make any sense at all but is just an interesting 15 minutes of experience.
Meditation Techniques for Thinking of Nothing
If you take nothing else away from this site or course, please remember that there are tons of different meditation techniques. What works for one person could be a terrible meditation idea for another. This course is an attempt at service to help you find your meditation technique path.
I keep an iPod that has over 100 different meditations on it. That might be excessive to you, but consider this; How many different moods, times of day, life challenges, amount of time to meditate, and levels of alertness do you have in a given day?
I know that I sometimes have only 15 minutes to meditate, I just ate lunch, I have a ton of work to do in the afternoon, so I just want to zone out. In that case, I listen to the very first meditation in this course.
When it’s first thing in the morning and I want to focus on my goals for the day and year, I listen to the Morning Focus meditation. If I am feeling overwhelm or agitation, the Stress Relief meditation mp3.
Those meditations hit the spot for me because they are the right combination of guided scripting, ocean surf, guided relaxation, and meditation technologies…3 different technologies embedded beneath the sound. This meditation combination works best for my brain most times. In order to find out if it works for you, listen to the first meditation lesson. If you like it, you’re going to like the meditation mp3s on this site.
If the first meditation didn’t work for you, no worries. I have many other meditation techniques headed your way in this course.
Mindfulness meditation involves continually watching your thoughts and making an effort to let them pass by. Some people try this and it becomes the ultimate in meditation for them. It didn’t work for me until I had used guided meditations with technology embedded in them for almost a decade…then I could do mindfulness meditation. That was just me though…you have to try these things on your own!
Mantra meditation involves repeating a phrase or sound over and over until your mind drops out of thinking. This is the theory behind the popular transcendental meditation practices. Unfortunately, it costs $2k to learn this. But if it works and changes your life, it is worth it. I would try out less expensive meditation sources first, and then go to that if you have gone through 20 or so meditation techniques with no luck.
So let’s say you try everything on this page so far, and you still can’t get a period of time where you think of nothing. Then what?
What to Do If You Can’t Think of Nothing
Are you listening along to a guided meditation that makes you more focused, clear, and happy? Then keep doing that for now, and once every so often try out one of the “think of nothing” meditation ideas above.
Applying sound energy at the start of any meditation can be a huge boost in your focus and clarity. Sometimes it can even cause you to tune in so deeply with the sound that you don’t think about anything else and then…voila!…you aren’t thinking of anything. The easiest way to use sound/mantra meditation is to belt out a long, loud “ohhhhm”. Inhale, repeat. Just keep doing it for a set amount of time. It sounds simple, and if you haven’t done it before, you will feel awkward doing it.
I can tell you, that very few people will ohm out loud in a room in my meditation in-person events, no matter how many different ways I try to get them to do it. And that is their loss, because it always amplifies meditation intensity, and makes it easier to tune out the physical world and gain inner silence.
Breathing meditations can get your mind to finally stop talking. That is why I have 2 of them in this meditation course, click ahead now to try those out.
Please keep in mind that the stereotypical zen monk meditating in lotus position for hours on end without a thought, while levitating and being one with the entire world, is not something to compare youself to or concern yourself with. Those monks are cool people and it is an impressive feat if they hold such a state, but it has no bearing on the power meditation has to improve your life for the better. You just have to practice.
As of October 2013, my meditation course is offered over at http://themeditationmind.com/binaural-beat-meditation-course-optin
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