Google the words ‘types of meditation’ and you’re done for.
Though the search results can be helpful, it’s never-ending and it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole. I know it happened to me a few years ago.
There’s so many different ways to meditate, and if we’re not careful we can swap and change too frequently in a frantic fashion wanting to find the ‘best’ one.
Truth is – there isn’t a ‘best’ one generically. Only one that suits you and you feel benefits you is considered the ‘best’ one.
I’m all for trying different meditation types, but I think its healthier to stick with one for a while (perhaps a month at least) before jumping into something else.
If we keep swapping and changing this means the mind is restless seeking more, when the ironic thing is, one of the main points of meditation is to achieve a calmer mind during day-to-day life.
But, there is a certain way we should meditate, in my opinion. There’s a reason I like to do it and what I gain from doing it. This is why I advocate it.
For me, meditation definitely reduces anxiety and stress. Or, I deal with anxiety and stress better. I take it more in my stride.
It helps me be the gap between stimulus and response, if you will. That ‘bit’ where you do not feel the need to react on emotions. Observing thoughts helps with this too, and increases self-awareness.
What is ‘no mind’ meditation?
Well, I’ll start by saying that ‘no mind’ doesn’t mean no thoughts – as that is usually the first thing someone asks me when they find out I practice this type of meditation. ”Does this mean no thoughts?”
No, not at all. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have thoughts. Plus, why would you not want any? Even negative ones? You’d never know what you needed to heal otherwise.
I’ve spoken to a few people on the spiritual path who tell me they are good at stopping their thoughts. I’ve always found this a strange thing to say. I can understand someone wanting their thoughts to stop – but to actually stop them doesn’t sound like a good thing, in my opinion.
When you stop thoughts, you’re suppressing them. When it comes to suppressing thoughts, you’re actually making them grow. Imagine watering weeds; the same thing happens with thoughts.
You’re shoving them down and effectively ignoring them. So a lot of people block them out by immediately thinking of another thought to ‘replace’ the negative one.
This is still mind activity, whether it is a positive ‘replacement’ even. It’s still a thought replacing a thought.
Some people purposefully try stopping their thoughts during meditation, and use this as a technique. This isn’t a technique I would personally use as again, you’re forcing something, and force is using the mind (and body), which is the opposite of what we want in meditation.
What if we can let the thoughts stop by themselves? Sure, they perhaps won’t stop immediately, but they wouldn’t by forcefully stopping them either.
What ‘no mind’ means is quite simple really: no attachment to thoughts. Any thoughts.
And that’s it.
Zero identification with thoughts. Zero labels with thoughts.
We allow the thoughts to flow and move as they see fit, without attachment or identification with thinking.
There is a key difference between thought and thinking.
Feel like trying it? Here’s a little rundown of how I do it:
When you get still and quiet, you’ll inevitably get thoughts pretty quickly. Try letting go of them. And remember: letting go doesn’t mean stopping or pushing them away.
Letting go means to not grab hold of them and go on a journey with them. See them for what they are, as if you are an observer to them. Just as you watch a movie, do the same with your thoughts, but be the watcher, not the actor within the movie.
Try not to even perceive the thoughts. Literally do not identify with them. Allow them.
Now, this can take some practice because we’re so used to being controlled by thoughts, but I assure you they start to reduce – and not necessarily during meditation, but more day-to-day life.
You find yourself very present and not lost in thought.
If you find yourself grabbing hold of a thought and going on a journey, then try to let go again by returning back to watching it.
Keep watching it and the thought will lose its momentum and eventually die down.
So do not try to stop them or want them to holt. Let them run their course and they will run out.
This is no mind.
No mind is where you allow your thoughts to do whatever they want. To come and go, to not label them, to not clutch to them, to not resist them etc.
You have no set position when you do this. Whereas, when you grab hold of thoughts, you have a fixed point of reference.
If you follow this type of meditation daily, you will notice that during the actual meditation itself the thoughts rarely diminish and you’re never really sat still with a totally blank mind.
You notice during your day that you’re suddenly not thinking about a great deal at all. You aren’t lost in what happened or is potentially going to happen – you’re just dealing with whatever comes up at the time, in the present moment.
You start living in the Now.
You will know when you reach this point, and it can take time, but it is beautiful when you arrive.
Things rarely bother you. Sure, you feel anxiety in your body as this is normal, but you handle it effectively and allow it to do its thing.
You also find there are no ‘big’ decisions to be made in life, but rather we label them as big decisions.
And you find yourself practicing no mind as a way of life – seriously. When you’re driving, when you’re alone, when you’re walking etc – you rarely clutch on to thoughts.
Maybe this is the type of meditation that frees you from thought and offers peace?