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How to handle thoughts?

Hello I'm rather new to meditation. I have begun a basic counting meditation, counting from 1 to 10 then starting over. So here his my question. When going through meditation and a thought arises do you try to cut it off as quickly as possible and resume what you were doing, or do you let it play out like the end credits of a movie and then resume after the thought has run it's course?

Comments

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    You patiently acknowledge a thought is present, then softly drop it.
    Several others will be in the pipeline before your session is through, which does not mean they deserve to be put centerstage or allowed to run their course.
    Thoughts happen but the session is not about your thoughts.

    personJason
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited January 2015

    @frozenlotus said:
    Hello I'm rather new to meditation. I have begun a basic counting meditation, counting from 1 to 10 then starting over. So here his my question. When going through meditation and a thought arises do you try to cut it off as quickly as possible and resume what you were doing, or do you let it play out like the end credits of a movie and then resume after the thought has run it's course?

    Each time a thought arises gently return your attention to the breath. Allow the thought to pass rather than pursuing or indulging it.

    Alert yet relaxed.

    Keep it simple.

    lobster
  • I think it will take some experimentation. I like to let the thought come into the space of my mind and notice how it is sticky. I tend to think I am 'doing good' if that stickiness recedes. But in reality you have lots and lots of time to meditate. If you 'make a mistake' in a given session then you will have many more chances.

    silverSarahTlobsterRowan1980
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    This is a very important question! Good for you to ask it. You've gotten the same ideas I would have given you. It worked for me to use metaphor -- thoughts are like cars, whizzing past. You can watch them go by, or you can get in the car and go for a ride. Going for a ride means you pursue and indulge the thought (let it carry you away).

    Your mind WILL generate thought after thought after thought. That is it's JOB. So the number and kind of thoughts are not indicators of your success in meditation.

    Your ability to stay out of the car IS a measure of 'success' in meditation. And success in meditation is not an absolute. If you can stay out of 25% of the 'cars' you are doing fantastic!

    mmoperson
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    Great question! And great name @frozenlotus‌.

    The above points are spot on.
    The only thing I can add is don't expect anything from your meditation. :)

    It's just being present and aware. Don't try to control any thought. Just note them and back to breathing , then it becomes like background noise.

    Keep it up!
    lobster
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