Meditation Thoughts

Meditation thoughts are a bit of an oxymoron. Meditation is actually about getting beyond thoughts, depending on the tradition.

The strongest meditation traditions are from the East, India, China, and Japan, for example, and are associated with Eastern religions.

I have been a student of the 11th step in AA, Transcendental Meditation, and Chi Gong.

I do not know anything about Buddhist or Hindu or Zen meditation thoughts.

My first experience with meditation thoughts was in Transcendental Meditation, which became popular in the West during the 1960's when the Beatles studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India.

I was struggling a bit then, so I read a book, and since it did not appear too hard, I was initiated in that tradition and given a mantra.

The mantra, or meditation thought for this tradition, was a nonsense syllable which I was to repeat in my twice daily practices.

I really enjoyed the meditation process, but at that time I was living with a number of Viet Nam veterans and we partied heavily, and whenever they thought I was indulging in my meditative discipline, they would pelt me with beer cans.

I gave the practice up over time, but the thought or mantra was designed to occupy what I now know to be my beta brain wave or working brain so that other parts of my experience could take over.

The 11th step of AA calls for daily prayer and meditation to know your higher power's will for you today.

It involves seeking an answer, and being attentive to hearing the still small voice on which the answer will come.

For those reading this who are new to AA or meditation, you can be listening all the time.

Meditation Thoughts To Switch the Figure and the Ground

I like to call it switching the figure and the ground. The necker cube graphic at the top of this page is an example. If I look at that for a moment or two, I will appear to see two different boxes, and if I focus on one, then the other seems to disappear, but actually it has simply moved to my perceptual background.

Meditation thoughts function very similarly, when I concentrate on a mantra or a thought, other thoughts recede to the background until I remove my focus from my seed thought or mantra. Then they come back.

Chi Gong has been a different kind of discipline with different kinds of meditative thoughts mixed with physical movements, still designed to keep my focus inward to achieve a long and healthy life.

Like all meditative practices, it is a practice which demands a commitment, and regular long term practices.

Now there are some technological tools which can inform your meditative thoughts.

EEG biofeedback and heart rate variability biofeedback and mind fullness practices using Open Focus language are tools I have used personally and professionally.

The two most pleasant feeling experiences result from using Open Focus, which stipulates that my meditative thought be about space, like the space inside my hand, and the HeartMath tools ask me to focus my thoughts on the area around my heart.

HeartMath is a computerized program and I can see how fast I switch from calm to excited when I switch my meditative thoughts away from my heart.

When I keep my thoughts focused on the space inside my chest and around my heart I feel calm and content, and with a bit of practice I can repeat that feeling on demand. My heart has learned how to do it.

Want to try? 

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