Meditation habit

© Vitali Maniakin

Wayne Dyer was talking about his friendship with Deepak Chopra in a talk he gave.

“Whenever I had a problem and would talk to Deepak about it, his answer was always the same — meditate…”

I’m paraphrasing but that’s very interesting I think. Whatever your problem, meditate.

If you’ve got a problem, really, the last thing you want to do is keep focusing on the problem. The solutions don’t come from focusing on the problem, they come from focusing on the solutions…

Anyway, this resonated with me because that’s similar to something I’ve been saying to myself for a long time — “the worse I feel, the more I meditate.” Whenever life starts to go bad… meditate MORE. If it’s GONE bad, do lots and lots of meditation.

This ties in with Einstein’s famous quote (I’m paraphrasing again)…

“You can’t solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Meditation makes you feel better and when you feel better, you see things differently. What’s the point in keep going over the problem in the same habitual way?

Meditation allows you to find your center. It’s a place where everything is always ok. It allows you to step out of habitual thought loops that keep you focused on the problem.

It’s a holiday from your problems.

If you get into a mediation habit instead of making your problems a habit, you’ll soon begin to feel sane again. Meditation will definitely be the sanest part of your day.

Habits allow you to make positive actions effortless. That is their power.

Whether the habit is a healthy breakfast, exercise or meditation, the positive habit will mean a massive difference to your health and happiness down the line.

Whatever it is you want to achieve, it just can’t happen without habit. I saw the Dalai Lama on TV the other day. Every day he wakes up, says his “life purpose” affirmation, showers and meditates. Every single day. Day-in, day-out. That’s a man who understands habit right there.

Habit is the one thing that’s even more important than meditation when it comes to solving your problems. Because your attention is power and when you regularly put your attention on the things you want to nurture, things happen.

Thirty minutes meditation will NOT change your life. But a thirty minute meditation habit will change your life in ways you can’t even imagine…

Habits are the way we work ANYWAY. It’s the way we’re wired. That will never change. So why not maximize your habit power?

Best wishes,
Michael Kinnaird

26 thoughts on “Meditation habit

  1. Hi Mike.focussing on body and letting thoughts go or focusing on breath and lets thought go.IS it the method you are talking about?

    One more thing even if i feel i should meditate and i am able to despite feeling of confusion,fear ,intrusive thoughts etc,another thoughts grips in should i meditate despite all these?
    sometimes i am able to and sometimes i am not able to.Yesterday i meditated in morning and felt better but couldn’t in night as i needed that assurance.I had this feeling that everybody says to meditate so i should meditate but wasn’t sure of this or couldnt remember the specific statement that is taking me to the meditation or get assureed that i should meditete despite all these. I was having doubtful feeling as i didnt had any such person or article saying me do this and i was doing meditation on the back of a false feeling of “doing meditation” and I dropped whole thing.confused and gave way to whole shit back again.thinking that i should have done and what i should not have. and than analyzing,getting sure,random anxious thoughts getting my sleep affected and ruining my morning also.

    still should i meditate if i am able to except the thought demanding assurance.Should i do it 2-3 times a day?Though i also felt that was all natural my want to do meditation.I felt better when i did it in morning.But thats how i ruined it.

    1. Hi helpaieee,

      I know you have the Happy Guide book now so the best thing is to stick to the advice given there. “Listening” is simply awareness. You don’t need to focus on your body or your breath, you are simply aware. In that state, you are aware of anything that pops into your mind. This awareness means you don’t automatically become your thoughts — instead you can choose to engage with them, or ignore them.

      Meditation is simply “intense practice” listening where you take a few minutes to get calm and “listen”.

      The method is always simply listening for the next thought. That puts you in a state of awareness. Thoughts won’t immediately stop unless you can generate the intensity needed, and also old patterns, emotions, and other stuff that have been repressed may pop up. That’s ok.

      At first the mind can seem extremely stormy not because things have gotten worse, but because now you are aware, sensitive to movement in the mind. So you generate as much awareness as you can by listening. If the mind is too stormy for thoughts to stop, just allow them to come and go, without following.

      You can “listen” in this way all the time, and you can meditate whenever you get the opportunity for a few quiet minutes :-)

      Best wishes,
      James

      1. Hi what i getting instinctively is i should not restrict or force thoughts.Let them be if the come and that feels good rather than engaging in those.But i dont know if i should need to ignore them at all.

        One more thing i read this method

        http://www.calmdownmind.com/the-practice-of-relaxed-awareness/

        .can you tell will it help.It says to be open and not to ignore thoughts anything.After reading this I also understood i dont need to restrict thoughts.But I cant get whole thing he is talking and cant connect his and yours which is confusing me.ignore or not?let thoughts go or not?My instinct after reading all these says don’t restrict thoughts.if you feel like ignore them,its not forceful,it happens.if you feel like do your work.I did this and didn’t restrict anything and when i did this lot of random thoughts stopped.

        However I cant believe me.And the practices that are said to be followed confuses me if they should be performed exactly how they wrote or I am not doing it the way he meant it or wrote it.For eg he said relaxed awareness can be started by doing it 30 minutes daily.But what i did yesterday while doing my work or watching tv is just didnt restrict my thoughts and it felt too good and felt like it is the thing that i need to do.But i got confused later after doing this that its not i should be doing,its not the thing told to you.still i dont engage much but this confusion lingered in my mind producing other thoughts may be placing my confusion and anxiety here and there.

        And one more thing i cant get is,If i am doing something than I cant be doing some method.Isnt it natural to do and don’t suppress or restrict thoughts.My whole thing initiated 12 years before so complicatedly when I started trying forcing thoughts ,dont letting them go and tried to forcefully mean ,suppress,this that,tried to mean every thought,etc etc.Can you clear me.

        ——

        also in happy guide it is written like this “Whenever you get the opportunity for a few quiet minutes,
        close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Move your
        attention into your body and feel and release any tension there.
        Let thoughts come and go without following, without
        judgment. And let everything settle down until all there is left
        is pure, simple awareness.”
        But you are saying not to focus anywhere.What should i be doing?also what i am suppossed to do let thoughts come and go or engage in some of the thoughts while meditating and ignoring some others.

        ——

        what to do of the next thought we get while listening.Let it go?and keep listetning?i can do it till i get first thought but then what to next.

      2. Hi Helpaieee, I’ve combined all your new comments, to keep all your questions together.

        The whole idea is to stop thinking habitually, automatically, to get back to “no-mind”. This returns us to our natural state, to the joy of simply being, where thinking is something we do. This is as opposed to be being identified with our thoughts, believing we are our thoughts (ego).

        I’m sorry, it’s a bad idea to read other people’s methods and try to translate them into our own. It only leads to confusion, as you’ve found. Two people can use the same word to mean two different things and who knows if their aim is even the same as our own? I recommend sticking to the Happy Guide method, it’s the simplest and quickest way.

        The “listening” method is a technique to silence the mind, to interrupt the mind chatter, to get back to mental stillness — what we call “no-mind”. It can be hard to generate the intensity to still the mind at first, such is the momentum of our thinking. In which case, you just allow thoughts to come and go, without following, without judgment. Your attention, your awareness is on your mind. You are simply being aware of what is passing through your mind.

        Should you engage with thoughts? If you’re meditating, don’t engage with any thoughts, just let them come and go. Just watch them. Naturally, if you’re just “listening” as part of your day, you will want to engage with some thoughts. For example, you may get a thought about needing to pick up your dry cleaning before the shop closes.

        What should you do with the next thought you get while listening — Let it go? And keep listening?

        Listening for the “next” thought is a method, a technique. It’s a way of “tuning in” to the space in which thought happens. If you can listen intensely enough, you won’t actually get a “next” thought :-) But if you do, what to do with it depends on if you’re “listening” as part of your day, of if it’s during a meditation. As described above, if you’re “listening” as part of your day, you may want to engage with the thought (dry cleaning). If you’re meditating, just ignore the thought, let it go. Stay in the “space”, just watch. Let it all come and go.

        When you’re doing something, where should your attention be?

        Your attention should be on what you’re doing. In the book we call this “flow.” We describe it as a progression, something you can start doing after you learn to get back to “no mind” by listening. The reason it is written as a progression is that unless you can make your mind quiet (through “listening”), when there is no distraction or activity, then it’s unlikely you will be able to do it when actually doing things. If you haven’t got back to “no mind” through “listening”, the chances are you won’t be able to hold your attention on what you’re doing — you’ll probably get lost in thought.

        But of course, we all need to do things anyway. So if you can, simply hold your full attention on what you are doing.

        The ultimate aim, the end finish line, is to do both simultaneously; focusing on what you’re doing (“flow”) while being aware of thoughts that pop (“listening”). In this state, everything becomes “one.” You feel unified and act as one complete being. There is no “split.” You are simply aware of everything — what you’re doing, anything that pops into your mind, your entire surroundings. This can be a very joyous state where you feel very connected to everything.

        I hope this helps!

        Best wishes,
        James

  2. Hi Mike
    I am still doubtful.In happy guide its mentioned to focus on body in “meditation -intense practice”.So I am confused should I be focussing on body or not or should I just listen?I am doing this focusing in mind to listen and “just allowing thoughts to arise” in my in-between the day and it feels better.Is it you call listening?And same thing required in sitting meditation?What I am getting is to just do this thing,however the need to assure that who recommended that and the lack of ability to just believe me prevents me.My disbelief in me is so intense that I am not able to convince me to do this and feel that nobody else has told me to do this without doing or understanding other things.I also feel i can only do this when I am committed to every other method but that feel too harsh.Can’t I just do it without any committment to other things.Also nobody recommended listening for longer time as recommended meditation is different method altogether in happy guide. I can’t believe me and I don’t know why?It is like somebody craving for alcohal and avoiding it completely.What should I be doing?I am craving for meditation but lacks the proper guidance.

  3. Hi helpaieee, taking a few deep breaths and releasing tension in the body is just helpful to settle into meditation, you don’t need to worry about it, you can just focus on the listening method if you are confused. It takes a little while to trust your open mind, trust life, trust your whole self. We are taught to think, think, think, to focus on problems and so on. I assume this is what you mean when you say you don’t believe? If so, you can give part of your day to just allowing thoughts to come, staying in awareness, and part of your day where you carry on as normal. In this way, you will trust more and more that the thoughts you need will come at the right time, and that is no need for constant mind chatter. Also, when your awareness is strong, you will be able to focus powerfully on thoughts you choose to ponder.

  4. Hi helpaieee, you and I have been talking by email recently too, so I just want to clarify that listening is awareness. The two words effectively mean the same thing here. Remaining aware is all you need to do. And as Mike mentioned you can start small by just giving part of your day to being aware, if you prefer.

    Also, please don’t forget the rest of the book, it all matters, it all affects your state, how you feel. As you live in a more and more healthy, relaxed, organized way, remaining in a state of awareness becomes much easier and more natural. :-)

  5. Hi Mike
    Thanks for the reply.Mike,I feel I don’t need any other thing than just allowing thoughts after getting so much bored of entertaining each of it and i somehow reading here and there understood i can’t keep resisting.

    In listening when i read focus intensly enough,it confuse me because trying to generate intensity feels like suppressing?rather what I just do is listening with the readiness to allow everything.

    What i feel doubful is that this thing is not a part of listening however at the same time i don’t like suppressing?So again a doubt which do not let me trust and commit.

    secondly ,you told to just allowing thoughts to come and stay in awareness.Is it same as listening or i need to be intense in listening.Just allowing and listening are same thing?

  6. Hiya! Yes, listening with the readiness to allow is just perfect. Intensity can be used if the mind is really stormy. But no storm, no need for intensity, just relax and allow. If you are just relaxed, open, and aware of every thought, that is very good!

    1. Is it necessory Mike to commit to flow ,and then only commit to this method.I feel I don’t need flow .simple listening put me in some good state and feel like less engaged with mind and get me in automatic state.sometime i feel just watching thoughts,sometimes I feel just staying relaxed and dont do anything of thoughts.And If I ever need or feel the need to learn flow or any other thing ,I can later learn.Is it ok?Is it allowed?I get prevented due to the feeling that May be its not allowed and i can’t start as i am not commited to whole method.

      1. Actually What i feel is Flow is not everything.I just feel good with that listening or simple allowing or simple thought watching.I want to leave the need for flow or anything else for later as I feel It is not the everything,there are lot of other things,that I may learn or also I may learn even flow but that I don’t know.If I dont need to learn flow later,I can leave that.But I am again doubtful or guilty.Thats the disbelief in me.

      2. Flow is just relaxed awareness of what you are doing, just as listening is relaxed awareness of thoughts. It’s all one thing really. Thoughts happen, flow happens, you are aware. You just focus on the listening and don’t worry, the flow will take care of itself, because it’s all one state, a state of wholeness where the mind is not split.

  7. Hi mike When I think as i am listening,my focus is in mind.IS it right?I find that nothing or very less is coming to be allowed.
    i also sometimes just let everything without resistance though i feel i am not focusssing any where
    When i watch thoughts ,i wait for thoughts to come but again there are not much thoughts.

    Is it right way to listen and find that there is not much?You also experience same thing?There is actually nothing to let go ,though there is some stress or something waiting for release.

    And are all three same thing?i

    1. “When I think as i am listening, my focus is in mind.IS it right?I find that nothing or very less is coming to be allowed.”

      Yes the focus is in the mind initially, although once your mind is quiet, then you can pay attention to external things and still be aware, allowing of thoughts that pop.

      “i also sometimes just let everything without resistance though i feel i am not focusssing any where When i watch thoughts ,i wait for thoughts to come but again there are not much thoughts.”

      Good, yes, thoughts diminish. Now you can choose a thought on purpose and grow it. That is a much more powerful way to be. Whereas before the identity is believed to be the mass of chaotic thoughts, now you are grounded in your being, thinking on purpose.

      “Is it right way to listen and find that there is not much?”

      Yes, more thoughts come depending on your attention, meaning, belief, intention etc. So if you stop thinking, then all momentum comes to a stop. Like if you let go of a flywheel, it will stop spinning in time, once the energy it already has is gone.

      “You also experience same thing?”

      Yes.

      “There is actually nothing to let go, though there is some stress or something waiting for release.”

      Yes, nothing to let go if nothing comes. The stress is probably fear related to your sense of identity, as it shifts from old beliefs and thoughts, the ego self, to a sense of self rooted in your being, thoughtless, choiceful, aware. The first is a false sense of self, very insecure, the second is very stable, true, secure and independent of circumstances.

      1. Hi Mike I don’t know I keep getting confused with listening.I know or understood these things from listening as well as some other sources and some I understood myself.

        1.focussing on mind and letting thoughts arise,go.
        2.focussing intensly for next thought to pop up.
        3.watching thoughts.
        4.allowing every thought.
        5.just letting thoughts go without focussing everywhere.
        6.you told that meditation ,in that focus on body and letting thoughts go.it’s called intense listening.but there I am not focussing on mind for next thought to pop up.I also confuse it with what’s listening.letting thoughts go that’s it?
        When I use word listening and try doing something then I don’t get exactly what to do and get confused often.

      2. Throughout your day, you are in “listening” mode. This means you are simply aware of your mental space. If the mind is very stormy, listen intensely, in order to interrupt the stream, to “calm the waters”. If the mind isn’t stormy, there’s no need for intensity, just relax and allow. As thoughts pop, either ignore them/let them go, or act on them (eg. I need to pick up my dry cleaning).

        Watching thoughts is the same as listening. Watching/listening/being aware are basically all the same thing.

        The meditation section of the book tells you to “Move your attention into your body and feel and release any tension there.” That is something you do once, in order to relax, in order to prepare for, and settle into, meditation.

        Then to meditate you simply go into “listening” mode, as you were doing throughout your day. The only difference is that you will not act on any thoughts, you will simply let all thoughts come and go.

  8. All you have to do is listen for the next thought to pop, then you are aware, awake. You are relaxed, allowing. If the mind is stormy, listen INTENSELY, this will bring you back to sanity very quickly. If you are doing something, then focus on what you are doing with a quiet mind. If thinking, do it on purpose.

    1. Hi Mike if I just listen for next thought ,then I also let thoughts go in it?next thought can come next in 1 sec.I can let things pop up,let thoughts go,let feeling arise.But it’s just I am focussing and sometimes not and allowing thougjts.is it you call listening?

      If I just listen to the next thought to pop ,thoughts come but if I just want to extend it and keep listening if I had to stop listening at that thought or I can go on focussing and letting things as much as I can.
      It brings peace and I don’t think I need anything else.

      Is “letting thoughts go”also termed as listening?if there is peace then there are no thoughts to listen to or to let go.in between my day I close my eyes and let thoughts go,is it listening?or something else is listening?

      I am also doing as focussing in my mind .is it also listening?

      Also I can’t catch thoughts but just allowing them brings peace.Is this also listening?

      Any reference so that I can be clear.Though I know what brings peace but the lack of clarity brings lack of commitment.when I say listen I don’t have clarity wht to do.

  9. “It brings peace and I don’t think I need anything else.”

    Right, so you know what to do. Listening is just the term I use, just the label for being aware of thoughts that pop. It’s such a simple thing, so don’t get confused with labels. So, you have experienced the peace that comes with awareness, so you have it, you know what to do. Keep on doing it until you are steady, until it is you default state of Being.

    Whatever comes, you simply go back to awareness, so then it automatically lets thoughts go. If a thought comes that you wish to focus on, then now you have a powerful focus to do that, to think along whatever lines you choose. It’s all very simple.

    1. I am confused about this thing focussing on mind.?I try to and I don’t let it to. too confussed about what to do and what to keep doing.Not able to accept one thing and also not able to accept that I can decide whatever depending what i like.Your method may or may not involve focussing on mind but focussing is always there?Too confused Mike.

      Just tell me.exactly.what needs to be done and what not.when I read happy guide it told to focus on mind.

      I am too confused Mike. Not accepting any thing.

      Just tell me what are the thing that you think can be done according to you.so that I am clear in respect of whatever you recommend and mean.I want to reset everything.

      1. “too confussed about what to do and what to keep doing.”

        Wait for the next thought to pop, what is confusing about that? Confusion itself is thoughts, let those go also, and return to awareness.

        “not able to accept that I can decide whatever depending what i like.”

        If you can control your attention, your focus, then you can choose.

        “Your method may or may not involve focussing on mind but focussing is always there?Too confused Mike.”

        The listening method focuses attention on the space in which thought happens. While we are awake, we are always focused on something, even if it is space or consciousness itself.

        “Just tell me.exactly.what needs to be done and what not.when I read happy guide it told to focus on mind.”

        Focus all your effort on noticing what thoughts pop into your mind. The awareness alone will cause the mind to become still. Continue doing what needs to be done when you need to, all the time coming back to awareness of thoughts popping.

        “I want to reset everything.”

        Yes, reset means return to clarity, to calm all disturbance in the mind. A clear mind is one with no thoughts, a clear mind is whole, although empty of specific thoughts. There is nothing to DO as such, listening is passive, just noticing, just being.

      2. whats the difference between Wait for the next thought to pop and letting thoughts go?
        We stop waiting as soon as we get next thought?
        At the time of meditatation we let go thoughts?Is it same as “waiting for the next thought to pop up”?

  10. If you are focused curiously to see what thought will come, then you are not focused on any particular thought, and you are not lost in a thought stream. If a thought comes, then you are aware of it, when you focus back on listening for the next one, you have let the other one go.

    1. 1.We can do this listening like in the whole day for some moments when we feel like going wayward,falling into the thoughts,etc.?

      2.simple noticing without too much attempt is also listening and we can do that?Doubt because you said focus all your attention to waiting for the next thought to pop up.

      2.Yesterday I was waiting for next thought in between again and again whole day when I felt loosing or going wayward and able to feel good.

      But then while trying in the evening i caught a thought and I couldn’t recall any clear cut instruction in the listening method about what I should do of the thoughts that I get after waiting..I just tried to “let go” but then doubt there is no such thing in listening method.What needs to be done here?

      3.What i perceive is listening and letting go are two different things?But When you call listening and letting go interchangeably it confuses me.
      In my meditation practice that i follow in the end I understand generally and also guided by my father as “let go of thoughts without judgement” but I dont know is this what you say?you call it listening?again the two things confusing me.

      5.Should I be doing whatever feels helping?
      The problem is I have been stable but lack of proper instructions pull me back.I feel lack of proper guidance for getting established into stability.I gets a doubt about what to do as I got yesterday which makes it very difficult to come out.Even If I want to be there lack of clarity which in turn do not even let accept the present state achieved by following listening due to chaos regarding believing the half process creating more and more stress.I want to but get held back as I just
      can’t do and decide.

      Try to be more clear and precise mike thats what i percieve more readily else the thinking to figure out sucks me.

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