Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quote of the Week 351 - Stopping the Mind from Thinking

Quote of the Week 351 - Stopping the Mind from Thinking

Question:

I’ve been meditating for years but I have yet to stop my mind from thinking. What is your trick for quieting the mind?

Answer:

There is no trick, and I don’t try to quiet my mind. The mind babbles, chatters, and spews an endless stream of thoughts, stories, feelings and distractions. Rather than quiet your mind during meditation, realize that the “you” that observes the unquiet mind is always and already quiet. Rest in that and leave the mind alone.

--Rabbi Rami Shapiro in “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler” column, Spirituality & Health Magazine, May/June 2016 Issue

Elaboration from Steve Gold:

Rabbi Rami hits the nail on the head in calling for us to focus on the part of us that is not the chattering mind, but rather the quiet observer always present if we can connect with it. Who/what is it that is aware that our mind is thinking, chattering?

Meditation is abiding in that part of us that is separate from our lower minds, that part of us that is variously referred to as the observer, the witness, the intellect, the higher quiet mind, and bringing it to the foreground, and basically ignoring the chattering mind, which eventually begins to recede to the background.


However, for those familiar with the Yoga Sutras and other meditation teachings, like the person who posed the question, there are many such teachings that maintain that the mind can be quieted, that the goal of meditation is to quiet the mind and cease the flowing of thought waves. The magic to the practice that Rabbi Rami suggests is that through that practice, the lower, chattering mind will eventually slow down, and once in a while shut up. These magical moments allow for a greater expansion and sense of thrill of the inner peace always present in the space of the quiet observer. But such a state cannot be forced by resisting the chattering mind. Although I wouldn’t call these “tricks”, use of intoning and focusing on mantras within, or inner visualizations are some of various techniques to re-direct the insistent, lower chattering mind by giving it something spiritually productive and soothing to do until it finally shuts up.

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges

CURRENT TEACHING SESSIONS

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Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum


I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.


What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!


DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”


“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta


“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible



Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest:


http://www.interfaithci.org/contemplative.html


Or


http://www.neshamainterfaithcenter.org/specialevents/#contemplation