Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Mind Started Chatting even more loudly during meditation, what should i do?

I tried to practice (meditation) but, as soon as I sat on the floor, my mind started chatting even more loudly. What should I do?

Prajanananandaji: It is not the body that comes with you life after life, but the mind. Life after Life you have kept the mind in an extrovert state. Even in this lifetime, since childhood and for years and years, you have kept your mind untrained, restless and in an extrovert state. It is only since a few hours that you are trying to discipline your mind. Previously you have always followed commands of your mind. By simply sitting down on the floor, you pretend and expect to have a silent peaceful mind! Please have a little patience!!

The mind is a bundle of thoughts. Let thoughts come, watch them but do not entertain them. If you welcome a thought it will give rise to a chain of related thoughts, Avoid those thoughts than can be avoided. Watch your thoughts, but do not welcome them. By avoiding repeatedly a thought, the thought will die.

Source: Source: Lineage of Kriya Yoga Masters by Paramhansa Prajanananda, pg 130

Another explanation:

Let us understand some basic definitions as given in Shastras.

Intellect: Quality of taking decision. (Tatva Bodh, Vivek Choodamani)

Mind: Mind is nothing but continuous flow of thoughts (Tatva Bodh, Vivek Choodamani. Sri Ramana Maharshi says the same thing in ‘Who am I’)

The nature of mind is extrovert. In general, mind follows five senses.

We have made our mind the slave of senses. It should be vice versa, as mind is more subtler than body and senses.

Body –> Senses –> Mind –> Intellect –> Atman (Self)

In order of increasing subtle nature, body is grossest and Self is subtlest. A Subtle element is more powerful than gross element.

Why cant I meditate?

We all have an extrovert nature. If Mind has any desire. then to fulfil the desire mind takes the help of body via prana [1]. So when body fulfils the desire (say wish to eat a delicacy) mind gets satisfaction and not the body. Meditation or Japa, takes the mind and senses to an introvert state which is opposite to the nature of mind.

In meditation, when you decide to be aware of Japa mantra or a specific process (kriya), mind revolts and shows off its power. It creates more and more thoughts, more and more scenes. You tend to get involved in these thoughts or scenes. As soon as you get involved, the meditation is broken, but unaware of this the meditator experiences a relief. This relief is due to the fact that the fight between mind and intellect is over. Mind has foxed the meditator.

Do not use force in meditation

By forcing the mind one can achieve temporary success, but a time will come when the mind will show its power and you will not be able to meditate for even 5 – 10 mins. As soon as you sit in meditation, you may feel to quit.

In the beginning, meditator applies force and tries to forcefully concentrate. This results into a mental fight,resulting into mental fatigue, stress and impatience. One comes out drained out and tired after the meditation.

It is not advisable to force your mind to meditate. Better and correct way is to convince the mind that meditation is the best option then any of the worldly thought. Reading scriptures which give importance to none other then SELF or atman are very very helpful. Listening to devotional songs or attending listening recorded discourses / satsangs (spiritual retreats) also helps a lot. Shastras help one to get one direction. It fills one with words, needed to convince the mind during meditation. Out of the two choices available (1. to get involved in the thoughts & 2. let go thoughts and continue chanting), proper convincing of mind is necessary, to select the right choice. After regular practice, one will be able to get more grip. Less the force, more time one can spend in mediation.

When one goes to learn to swim, he comes out of the swimming pool tired. Later after he learns to swami efficiently, he goes for swimming to relax!!!.

Same is the case with meditation. Shastras say that initially it feels like you have been poisoned, later you experience that you are filled with nectar of bliss and immortality. So just hold on and do not quit.

Once you have the practise of ‘Let Go’ of thoughts, the power of thoughts begin to decrease. Once you are fully aware of Japa Mantra, or of any kriya, as given by a master, thoughts fade away. Gradually, after constant practice, you will be able to meditate easily and come out of meditation more refreshed and relaxed. Now you will begin to enjoy your meditation.

[1] In Ramana Gita, Sri Ramana Maharshi says that Mind is Jnana Shakti and Prana is Kriya Shakti. Mind has knowledge about work but cannot do the work. It has to take the support of Prana Shakti to do the work.

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