Monday, 5 November 2012

Please let that thought linger . . .

While praying, meditating or trying to concentrate, it is essential that the mind should be freed of clutter in the form of stray thoughts. Better said than done! Often while meditating, there is this one thought that I find so very difficult to let go.

When he strummed the guitar and sang that song, my heart leaped and all that I could manage was a smile. I wished that he could go on and on but then he stopped, looked into my eye and asked me to hum along with him which I couldn't do . . .

The thought doesn't stop. I coerce and beg and try all possible techniques, the thought remains so and starts weaving delicious notes that seduces me over and over.

The song was 'Alberta Alberta' by Eric Clapton. He sang and sang on and here I was breathless and dreamy . . .



Ah, I need to focus on my meditation. Another technique is: Let the thought have its way. But then, will the thought ever stop? 

The song has some wonderful lines such as, "Aint had no loving/ Since you've been gone." Well, it was Eric Clapton's voice but your face and your guitar that you purchased with your own money and not your father's.

While praying, the heart and mind are supposed to be in a state of meditating over the words that are heard. I remember a scene from the film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where Jim Carrey does not want to erase some of the happier moments he spent with Kate Winslet and wants to preserve at least one memory. He does not want to let go. Similarly, I struggle hard to let go of that one thought in the form of someone's voice or tone and I try to cling on or rather it clings on to me, threatening to sabotage my prayer and meditation. I plead with the thought to release me.


I might have exaggerated a bit but thoughts are like wild horses, which can sometimes be quite hard to tame and if you are someone like me whose memories often surface with just a tune/glance/smell, then it's harder. Inspite of all that, I like praying and meditating. 

Tell me about how thoughts play havoc with you when you try to concentrate.

Image: Internet

26 comments:

  1. Eric Clapton is one of those good singers that has been around for some time :-)

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    1. I know and I like his mellow voice and sober face.

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  2. You know I had read it somewhere...

    Whatever you try to avoid the more you think about it. So everytime I want to meditate I simply don't try to avoid any thoughts. I just let my mind wander...and believe me it works... After a lot of practice you finally reach a stage where you are completely blank. The only problem is you need to be patient till then!!

    :D

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  3. nice....thoughts are def like wild horses...and discipline is what tames them eventually...not an easy task....

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    1. Not an easy task but impossible neither. Smiles. Hope my letter is on its way :)

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  4. Dear Susan, I hear you, my thoughts truly do resemble wild horses, particularly when I am anxious. My imagination runs wild too, and my logic is out of the window.
    Have never mediated and think it would really be beneficiary for me to learn how.;)
    Have a great week,
    xoxo

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    1. Ah, you should definitely meditate cos after that session, you feel so very refreshed and light. Believe me.

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  5. My issues with thoughts is entirely different. There are some thoughts, mostly memories that I have never wanted to let go. so I keep remembering them over and over and they have stuck with me for years. they are neither happy nor sad thoughts, just thoughts. And they can appear any time, anywhere...I hope I am not strange!

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    1. I loved your comment, OtienoHongo. And, you are definitely strange as every other person. if all of us were similar, how boring it would be!

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  6. So true, we try on concentrate and sigh! without any luck. Just that thought and at that moment. And yes, thought are stray horses...

    I think thought should have its own course...

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    1. Thoughts can go on and on and finally vanish. But are we willing to wait and be patient?

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    ReplyDelete
  8. Firstly I love that movie. My mind plays havoc every time I try and concentrate to pray. Like you a tune, a smell can bring memories to disturb my peace of mind.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/11/sometimes-i-wish.html

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    1. That movie is wonderful, isn't it? memories are to blame, Rimly and we have so many of them vying for attention!

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  9. well i can never concentrate and as such it has been studied that maximum concentration is for about 15-20 mminutes max and that too goes up and down..


    Bikram's

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    1. I would like to force you into a meditation chamber and lock the room and till you sit still for more than an hour, the door should be locked.

      Meditation is fun, you know. You should seriously try it out.

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  10. Thoughts and feelings can definitely be like wild horses...The Bhagavad Gita brings that up and says that we can learn to train the mind so that we become the charioteer, steering our thoughts and emotions in the directions that benefit us rather than having them bring us here and there.

    "I struggle hard to let go of that one thought in the form of someone's voice or tone and I try to cling on or rather it clings on to me, threatening to sabotage my prayer and meditation."

    What I've learned so far through meditation is to not struggle. I can definitely have my case of "monkey mind"...where thoughts flood in while trying to remain centered and maintain a single-pointed focus. Saying my mantram, or concentrating on my breath, are two techniques I've found to be helpful. Also,just being a witness to all that's around me without interpreting it. Merely being, hearing the sounds, feeling the breeze, the carpet underneath. The same approach I use to being a witness to all that is around me, from the literature I have read, we can use towards our thoughts and feelings...To not struggle to rid ourselves of them but to just merely witness them. Observe them. Like a sheperd observes sheep in the pasture. He merely witnesses their coming and going but doesn't do too much to interpret them. And that eventually helps the to fall away from our view. Clinging only gives them more of an intensity to stay and get more prominent and distracting during meditation. The use of a mantra..one word or phrase, not to be interpreted but just be repeated, the sounds being concentrated on, can be a very powerful way of ridding oneself from extraneous and distracting thoughts.

    Sorry, totally rambling here. :)

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    1. Jess, loved your comment and no, it wasn't a ramble. Long comments are delightful treats for me given the lack of time in today's world. I must thank you for taking time and patience to illustrate the methods to follow while meditating. I am sure your comment will enable many to follow certain techniques. And, as you have rightly mentioned, it is best to let the thoughts flow and slowly vanish.

      Thanks again, Jessica.

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  11. Aah! If only we could tame whose while horses of thoughts... They say meditation is not easy. It takes time and a lot of determination and discipline to get it right!

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    1. Discipline and determination, definitely but the distracting thoughts are "oh so delicious!"

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  12. Hi Susan your post was so evocative and struck a chord (C chord or was it E Minor) with me! I am one of the best insurance claims investigators in Mumbai. A boring job yes but made colourful with music which is always playing especially on my ipod. Alberta Alberta is one of my favourite Clapton songs from the Unplugged album and this was probably the first songs that picked when I started to learn the guitar though my voice would always crack on the high notes!

    About the mind ah that is really hard to tame! A zillion thoughts race through my mind when I am trying to concentrate or when I try to meditate. Scenes from random movies, episodes from the past especially when I was in school and college. Sometimes I myself am surprised when long forgotten scenes from the past suddenly come into view and that's quite jarring! Also I agree with Jessica M's comment earlier about the idea of not struggling with the mind. It seems to me that the act of trying to concentrate itself is quite stressful and when one simply stops thinking about the need to concentrate or settle down, it is then that the mind actually settles down. But then those are my views :-)

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    1. Welcome here, Amit. i like the way you self-proclaim that you are one of the best insurance claims investigator. When I first saw the link, "insurance . . ." I thought this was another spam comment but when I read on I was proven wrong. Thanks for this wholesome comment and I'm glad you like the song, "Alberta Alberta." Many do not know the song. It is very close to me for I have many memories with that song.

      Ah, even scenes from movies come to my mind when I try to deeply concentrate. Well, thoughts and scenes closer to our beings always choose the wrong time to come in and if it is someone like me, I forget the purpose of my stillness and start enjoying the thoughts.

      Thanks for coming by and leaving your beautiful insights.

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  13. Hi Susan you are welcome :-) Yeah I have memories associated with the entire Eric Clapton 'greatest hits' collection as well as the unplugged album. I agree..some of the best ideas for my life in terms of my career and work has always come out of stillness and silence. The idea is to enjoy the thoughts because they bring with it tidings of the past and the future. Will keep visiting your blog and keep writing!

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    1. I clicked on your name and it led me to a detective agency! Well, what do you exactly do? I was quite eager to see what your blog looks like but all that I found was a detective agency!

      Thanks for the wonderful words. I am smiling from ear to ear :)

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