Watch your thoughts rather than trying to stop them

Have you ever tried to control your thoughts?

Have you ever managed to control, and stop your thoughts?

Probably not. 

The point of meditation isn’t to control your mind and have no thoughts. 

The point is to change your relationship with your thoughts, so that they don’t feel so compulsive and tempting. 

People often feel bad for thinking whilst they meditate, when really the point is to notice that you’re thinking, and then let go of the thoughts. 

This is often called “being the witness”. 

You watch your thoughts, simply noticing them, rather than stopping them, or paying them too much attention. 

Zen teacher Suzuki Roshi said “Leave your front door and your back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea”.

Let the thoughts come and go, just don’t get to attached to them. 

What you’ll notice the more you do this is that even in your day-to-day life your thoughts will seem less appetizing. They’ll come and go, without feeling so compelling or real. You get a bit more space between your thoughts, a bit more silence, and the opportunity to question them as they arise, rather than believing in them automatically. 

So let go of control, know that thoughts will come and go, and practice being less attached to them, rather than having no thoughts at all.

Author: Jade Doherty 

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