I want to share a number of techniques that may help you deal with your thoughts during a meditation session. Whenever you get an intrusive thought, try one or more of these ways to help the thought disappear:
- Put the thought into a open box beside you. Allow yourself to know that the thought will be there later for you to tend to, because for now, you do not need that thought.
- Allow the thought to float away on a cloud
- Allow the thought to float upwards inside a bubble, and it gently pops into thin air
- Allow the thought to flow down a stream on a leaf then disappear
- Treat the thoughts as a train arriving towards you, but it does not stop and you don’t get on the train. Allow the train (thought) to pass by you and travel away.
Other ways to help calm your busy mind:
- Actively focus on something during your meditation – like focusing on your breath, or listening to an audio guided meditation.
- Give yourself permission to be still, and to put aside your thoughts for this moment.
- Think of thoughts as visitors, not as irritants. They are fleeting and come and go.
Most importantly, have no expectations of your practice. Thoughts will naturally occur. Notice when you have moments of the calm mind and savour them, even if it is only for a few seconds. The goal is to become aware of thoughts and gently bring your focus back to your meditation. Even if this happens hundreds of times during a session, it’s OK. Over time you will notice more instances and durations of the calm mind.
Related article: Is a quiet mind expected in meditation?
I hope this has been helpful.