IA Summit 2007 Mind-Map
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Damn! Why can’t I ever stop thinking?

This was my mantra at 7 am as I tried in vain to meditate.

Some days I’m able to get deep into the zone of a meditation where my thoughts slow and then stop for a while. These are the best meditations. I’m detached but present in the flow of Universal Mind. I feel a clarity and a sense that all is well – just the way things are. Perfectly imperfect. I am aware of a connection to all life which gently gives way to a quiet joy. I ride the waves of this Universal flow as long as I can before thoughts get the better of me again. I take the quiet joy with me out into my day and go about my business.

Today I could not surf that wave. It was just one big thought after another knocking me off my spiritual surf board until I got tired of trying to climb back on and gave up.   All I heard was: I have work to do. I need to exercise. I’m running low on milk. Got to get to the bank and deposit that check.

With each thought I squeezed my eyes tighter and said NO not now! But, they wouldn’t stop. I followed my breathing again and they slowed somewhat but not to the extent where I could make that connection to the soothing calmness I craved.

Later while journaling it hit me. I was trying too hard. You cannot force yourself to get in the flow –  It just doesn’t work that way.

It reminded me of getting injections at the doctor’s office as a little girl. The idea that my little fanny was going to be pierced by a long shiny needle terrified me. And, no matter what my mother said, or the nurse about relaxing I’d tense up anyway which only made it hurt more.

It’s the same with those pesky thoughts. I was forcibly trying to resist thinking which makes no sense at all. The idea is to let them come and then go without reacting to the intrusion in your meditation. All pain comes from resistance.  I knew this, so why wasn’t I doing it?

Resistance is a form of control. To resist your thoughts is the same as trying to control them. You can’t control your thoughts anymore than you can control another person or situation. All you can do is be present, observe and let them go, be it a person or situation. As soon as you start tangling with them it becomes a battle of the wills. Then the ego gets involved – and the ego hates to lose. The way to inner peace is to disengage from the impulse to control.

It’s good to be reminded that you’re never done. The minute you think you’ve climbed that mountain and you want to shout from the top I MADE IT – is the moment you’ll find yourself back down at the bottom. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s about the journey not the destination. Today is one of those days.

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