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Meditation Series :21 notes for Meditators: Answers for Questions you never asked!

Contrary to popular belief that once you start meditating that you mind noise will come down, you will actually feel the other way after few hard yards into meditation. _Today let’s talk about one of the important hurdles meditators have to overcome._

As I mentioned before, first lesson in  meditation is always to learn how to watch your mind.  Unless you know how to witness your thoughts there is no starting of meditation. When you start meditating usually you can watch your thoughts only during meditation. After sometime into meditation practice, you can watch your thoughts even when you are not sitting for meditation. Most of the meditators have no idea about how noisy mind is.  I would like to share an analogy with you. Assume that you have a house near train tracks. And every time train passes by you are hit with a loud noise of passing by train on tracks. Now just imagine whole day without a minute break, trains keep passing by. Imagine the noise you have to face. Similar way your mind is usually full of thoughts 24/7, when you live unconsciously. 99.99% of people live their entire life with train passing inside their head!

As your ability to witness thoughts beyond meditation hours makes progress, you will start noticing thoughts everywhere. You experience flashes of witnessing while sitting, reading, taking bath, walking, while working.. so on. These thoughts were always there but your ability to watch was not there.  So what happens now is that you begin to feel that your mind chatter has become more.  Actually it is not the case. It is your witnessing which has made progress. But this noise and continuous chattering of mind is so much that meditators start getting tired of the madness. They start to feel restless and tired. At this stage the more you make progress the more you get mad because of so much thoughts going continuously in your head.

At this point lots of meditators feel frustrated. They feel that after starting meditation they have lost peace of mind. It is not the case. You have been used to living unconsciously. So with the witnessing you are overwhelmed by the rubbish inside your head.

And it gets worse. If you keep on meditating then you will witness more and more noise. This is the point where most of the students give up Meditation. This phase is acid test for most of the meditators.  This phase is also the longest one to overcome.

What can you do?

Actually nothing other than continue to meditate.  The only thing you can remind yourself is that your mind chattering is not increased but your ability to witness mind has become sharper. Instead of getting frustrated, start accepting this paranoid state. Start telling yourself that you have the will power to overcome this and keep meditating. Please remember that it is not the witnessing which is causing the headache for you but the fact that you have to watch such rubbish uncontrolled thoughts you have been carrying

Note to help:

As and when you feel there is too much noise. Keep taking few deep breaths and continue witnessing. Conscious breathing reduces the pain of witnessing chattering of mind. Also slow down as much as possible. Walking, talking, working…wherever possible bring your attention to body as much as to your mind. Over a period of time along with witnessing, you will also learn to live with unconsciousness. This is what East calls being a warrior. Warrior is the one who fights with Un-consciousness. Not in a fighting way but thorough meditation and awareness. Be a Warrior, keep on meditating and you will turn a corner sooner or later.

I send you love and awareness

~Suresh Gundappa

Image right: Derky