|Transforming The Wandering Mind
by Ven. Master Miao Tsan
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Meditation is the reversal of the process that establishes our habitual tendencies. Consequently, the establishment of habitual tendencies is due to the repetition of similar thoughts. If we are able to refrain from following these thoughts, thus stopping the process of creating and building them up, the reversal of the formation process begins to free us from the habit. The mind will then return to its original, pure ground. Because delusion arises from the mind, the original purity of the mind can be recovered by removing the delusion. Apply the ways of the enemy against the enemy. Meditation is a very effective method of dissolving habitual tendencies. Through focused meditation, the practitioner continually disengages from wandering thought. These thoughts, when ignored, will gradually be deprived of their strength.
Practitioners are occasionally surprised to notice wandering thoughts, and will ask, "Why do I have so many wandering thoughts during meditation?" The fact is that meditation does not create more wandering thoughts. However, due to the lack of gross phenomena for the mind to grasp, the outward-driven phenomena-seeking tendency, which is still active, will be manifested in the form of chaotic, wandering thoughts. […]
During meditation, the mind cannot grasp external phenomena, so it becomes more aware of previously unknown activities in the deeper level of the I-consciousness. This is the reason that the sustained practice of meditation will cultivate and deepen awareness, and gradually reduce wandering thoughts. For example, when we want to distance ourselves from certain friends or relationships, we simply reduce the occasions and time we spend with them until eventually they disappear from our lives. We should handle wandering thoughts in much the same way. By gradually withdrawing the habit of following up on wandering thoughts, they will eventually disappear due to a lack of attention. […]
To transform thoughts is to focus on the method while remaining undisturbed by wandering thoughts. The energy that is normally given to unconscious thinking is redirected to the conscious application of the method. The foundation of any spiritual practice is the application of a method in order to transform the scattered, wandering thoughts into a focused "single-pointed placement of the mind."
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|Transforming The Wandering Mind
How do you relate to the notion of distancing ourselves from our wandering thoughts? Can you share a personal experience of a time when you became deeply aware of wandering thoughts? What methods have worked for you to get to a single-pointed placement of the mind?
|Conrad P Pritscher wrote: I have been meditating for almost 24 years and I still have many wandering thoughts and habits. I find when I am noticing what is happening in the present moment, and I notice wandering thought…
|Jagdish P Dave wrote: I have been regularly practicing mindfulness mediation. I have found this way of meditating very helpful. Meditation has helped me to be more aware of the wandering mind and the mind that …
|Kristin Pedemonti wrote: Mindful meditation has helped me to further accept whatever thoughts are there and not judge them. A favorite tip I read was to picture your wandering thoughts as clouds in the sky passing by s…
|david doane wrote: Distancing from wandering thoughts as in giving less time and attention to them makes sense to me. What isn’t reinforced by attention is likely to diminish. The problem for me is th…
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