Torah and Veda are two ancient sources of spirituality still vibrant today. Torah is conveyed through the sacred language of Hebrew and Veda is conveyed through the sacred language of Sanskrit. The focus here is on meditation, mysticism, philosophy, psychology and the underlying spirituality that has been incorporated into religions, and not as much on the religions themselves. Your comments and posts are welcome.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quote of the Week 351 - Stopping the Mind from Thinking

Quote of the Week 351 - Stopping the Mind from Thinking


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


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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