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I am contending with what I expect to be a common difficulty in meditation. My mind is highly analytical. I am almost always processing information and fitting it into my framework of understanding, generating hypotheses, and adjusting theories to fit new data. The process is ceaseless. Not an hour goes by when I do not continually work to update my understand of my own consciousness, which is the central question that drives me in all pursuits.
The difficult I face when meditating is thus predictable. I am analyzing and thinking about meditation while trying to meditate, which is antithetical to the purpose. Focusing on the breath is difficult; I can sustain it for a few moments before I am once again carried away in thought. Even when my mind feels relatively "idle," there is a great deal of processing taking place. It's relentless. I have described my mind to others as a thunderstorm; my romantic companion describes it as a river. The common theme between these two metaphors is volume.
I nevertheless persist with the exercise and sit for at least twenty minutes. If I cannot stop thoughts or step away from them sufficiently to be mindful of the breath, then I try to observe the thoughts as they pass, getting a sense for their general shape, their source, and otherwise their essential nature. My practice feels undisciplined, however, because it seemingly lacks consistent focus.
In terms of technique, I've tried multiple: counting the intake and outtake of breaths, visualization, and assessing the length of each inhalation and exhalation (1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5). With each of these techniques, I am unable to maintain consistent focus for long.
I tried this Muse headband gimmick, which is an EEG device that provides real time feedback on your mindstate in order to assist in deepening meditation practice. I think it might be counterproductive, though, because I find myself paying attention to the feedback and trying to "game" the system rather than focusing my attention on my breath as I should. I am leaning towards dispensing with this experiment and returning to the traditional methods with which I began.
I am open to and grateful for any feedback, tips, resources, or thoughts of any kind that anyone would like to offer.