If in our heart of hearts we don’t want the thoughts to have a negative influence on others then they won’t. Even if we have wished others harm in the past we can negate those thoughts by our sincere regret and send out endless good wishes instead. Continue reading Can I Hurt Others With My Negative Thoughts?
The problem here is that the Shamata [calm abiding meditation) is strong but there is very little insight [Vipashyana meditation]. You need to become interested in the nature of the thoughts instead of just letting them go. If you let them go too quickly it is almost as if you are cutting them off rather than simply letting them be. It is a very fine edge or distinction… Continue reading Meditation makes my mind dull and sleepy, what can I do?
I think this question relates to reflection – when and how do we engage in reflection? Often it is when we are sitting quietly on our meditation cushion and thoughts and feelings are coming up, we recognise patterns and insights pop out sometimes as if from nowhere. Sometimes we worry that we are going to forget them and are tempted to quickly note them down. To do that would be useful from the reflection point of view but not what we should be doing when we are first developing some kind of Shamata. Continue reading Should we label all thoughts as ‘thinking’ in meditation?
The instruction is to notice the mental chatter – not to stop it. So when you are reading, you just notice the way you voice the words to yourself (or not) and continue noticing what happens at other times too… Continue reading Do we have to get rid of all our mental chatter?
The instruction is not to focus on the heart, wake, open and be. The words are there to give you the co-ordinates as it were. When you say “heart” or simply think of the word, for a fraction of a second you experience something… Continue reading How do we work with the Formless Meditation instructions ‘Wake, Heart, Open, Be’? Doesn’t using them just involve more thinking?
When you have confidence in the spacious unchanging nature, and thoughts are passing and are nothing in themselves, you can gradually come to recognise that everything that appears including thoughts are a joyful play in the space of awareness. So there doesn’t have to be a point to it as such – it’s all delightful, and that joyousness is the point. Continue reading What to do if you find you’re resisting Meditation & how to deal with difficult thoughts
When we talk about meditation in terms of letting go of thoughts, it can seem as if it is a matter of setting oneself up as an observer of one’s mind and to root out thinking. This is a misunderstanding of the whole process. Setting up a watcher in this way perpetuates our false sense of what we are and what our experience is. The observer might well be well intentioned, but the problem is that it is heavy-handed and believes too much in itself. Continue reading Meditation: Recognising ‘the watcher’ as thinking too
“If you try too hard to let go of thinking, the mind speeds up and more thoughts than ever seem to come up. If you don’t try hard enough it’s business as usual. Nothing changes and you discover nothing of interest. So it’s a matter of getting the right touch. One way of doing this is to adopt toward thoughts an attitude you would have … Continue reading Getting the right touch with meditation: welcoming thoughts as guests
Lama Shenpen answers a question on meditation from a teaching given in 2014. What’s really going on when we feel our meditation isn’t working? Is it really ‘not working’? How should we reflect on this, what insight might we be missing? Continue reading Video: What’s really going on when we feel our meditation isn’t working?
“The tendency is to think ‘I shouldn’t be thinking, I should be staying with the breath…” In a teaching from 2014 Lama Shenpen points out how to work with our thoughts during meditation and why thoughts aren’t a problem. Continue reading Video: Working with thoughts in meditation