Do you struggle to quiet your mental chatter while trying to meditate? It seems impossible to get rid of those pesky, mundane thoughts about your everyday concerns. The harder you try, the more stubborn they become.

Your very own thoughts are the biggest obstacles in meditation.

It’s the nature of the mind to produce thoughts. So, don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, it’s not easy to go against nature.

Your thoughts have the power to disturb you because you identify with them and don’t see them separate from you.

The truth is, your thoughts are merely objects in your awareness and different from you.

Here’s a simple way to understand this…

Observing the Observer

Look at an object in your room. Observe its shape, form and characteristics.

Notice that the object is something that you are observing. It is known to you and is separate from you, the Observer.

Close your eyes and hold the image of the object in your mind. Do you still see it? Now, pay close attention. . . Do you see the object as something separate from you even though it’s in your mind and not outside?

Notice just as before, it is known to you and is different and separate from you, the Observer.

Whether you experience an object in the outer world or as a mental object, you are always the Observer.

Images, desires, feelings, concepts and ideas are all objects in your awareness.

To stop the mental chatter, do this

What usually happens in meditation is that as soon as a thought comes up, you immediately dwell on it by force of habit. Then, one thought quickly leads to another and before you know it, you’re lost in a maze of your own thoughts. You only realise what has happened several minutes later.

What’s important to know is that your thoughts cannot exist without your attention and engagement in them.

The key to a peaceful meditation is this—Instead of putting your attention on the thoughts that come up, turn your focus onto you, the one who is observing them.

When you place your awareness on the Observer of the thoughts, the thoughts fade away and cease to affect you.

This one simple thing is a very potent tool to stop your mental chatter. To experience the truth of this fact, here’s a guided meditation for you.

Good luck with your practice! Do let me know how it goes in the comments below.

Check out my upcoming Fundamentals of Meditation 4-Week Online Course weekly from May 21 to June 11, 2020 to learn the basics as taught by traditional teachers of Vedanta.

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "So You're a Spiritual Being–Now What?" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. She is based in Richmond Hill and Markham, Ontario. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counselling sessions in person or on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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