meditation london

Why you don’t need to stop your thoughts to meditate

One of the common frustrations we hear from guests at our London meditation studio is: “I’m not good at meditation, I find it impossible to stop my thoughts!”

So we have seat, and talk it out. Our mind is programmed to think, and to go from one thought to another…to another. To stop all thinking is next to impossible. The fact is, we don’t need to stop our thoughts to meditate. That’s not the practice, or the aim.

We don’t stop thoughts. All that we need to do is observe the thoughts come and go.

We become the observer of the thoughts. We make a mental note of the thoughts: “ok, there’s that thought about my breakfast…and now that thought about the traffic this morning….oh and now that thought about my next meeting..”.

Our guidance in the sessions follows a pattern. It’s best to start the practice by grounding our attention in something that is constant…such as our breath. The breath is always there, and as we gently attune to it, it provides an anchor for our attention. From this starting, settling point, we let the thoughts come and go.

We don’t let any one thought carry our attention away for too long. Whenever we notice that we’ve been dwelling on a thought, we say “that’s ok, now let it go and come back to the breathe’”.

And so the meditation becomes a practice of observing, watching, learning, what is going on for us in our minds, without getting attached to them. That is after all the end-goal of meditation –to develop a relationship with our minds so that it does what we ask, rather than running away with its own agenda.

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UPDATE! If you are interested in meditation matters do check out our latest can you meditate lying down article