Dhammabodhi wrote:In the course of my practice I've noticed that most of my thought processes become manifest with a "verbal" commentary in the mind. Of course this is not an earth-shattering revelation, everyone knows about this.
I was reading Ajahn Brahm's book "Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond" and he says that one must be able to stop this inner commentary in order to (begin to) gain deeper levels of concentration, in fact he proposes that breath-awareness should only be taken up once this has been achieved (if I understood correctly).
I've actually used breath meditation to calm and quiet discursive verbal thought. But this was after I discovered how to do so at will. So, I suppose that this may just be a peculiarity of Ajahn Brahm's own mental atmosphere.
But how does one go about achieving this? I'm kinda feeling frustrated on not being able to stop this inner speech even for a few minutes. If I just let things be, it totally overwhelms me and I lose even the tiny bit of mindfulness that I have.
Mouni Sadhu wrote:The method according to the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi is as follows:
To immerse oneself in meditation, making a clear impression on the outer mind that the real Self cannot be any transient thing such as the body, emotions or mind. When this fact is strongly established without any doubt in consciousness, then I try to fill every possible moment with the inquiry "WHO AM I?" When any other thought enters the mind one crushes it with the Vichara. The more determined the perseverance, the better the result. The restless mind begins to give up the struggle. As I substitute every approaching thought with the magic Vichara, the periods of absolute quietness become longer. At first it is only for a few seconds, but with constant practice there come minutes of unruffled peace. The most important thing is to catch and remember what was most helpful reaching that peace of mind. I cannot describe that process in my consciousness, because it is above and beyond the activity of the mind, and therefore, cannot be expressed in words, which belong to the mental realm.But each earnest student will have the same experience.
Dhammabodhi wrote:Thanks puthujjana and Ian! I've actually seen that video before ( I'm a great admirer of Ajahn Jayasaro, he is one of the most beautiful people I've ever seen) and I've tried his method. Sometimes it works, other times I fail miserably. The problem is the "rest-period" between the in and out-breaths, when this chatter creeps in and slowly but surely dilutes whatever mindfulness of breath I have ( which is usually quite bad). In the meantime my counting is not affected, but by the end of it I'm just left counting for counting's sake. Maybe I'm not earnest enough...
Whenever your mind turns away from your primary object of meditation (in your case: the breath) and starts thinking just make a mental note to the thinking process ("thinking, thinking") and let go. After that you can watch the thinking process passing away (= watching impermanence) and then you can return to your primary object.
Do it in this way every time your mind starts wandering and after some time it will stay with the primary object.
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