Hi, quite often when I’m meditating, an old memory that I haven’t thought about in many years just pops into my head. Generally they are negative issues such as arguments or mistakes from the past which spark a sad feeling but I try to let go of them. What is the reason for these thoughts coming up? Is it a good thing because these memories are being released? or are these resurfacing memories reinforcing attachments to old karmas? Thank you.

—karen, united kingdom


Dear Karen,

Why do old memories pop up during meditation?

Old memories are stored in our subconscious mind. When we meditate, we are accessing our superconscious mind. Our superconscious mind is that level of our consciousness through which we can attune to higher realities and God’s presence. The subconscious is our mind cloaked in old patterns, old habits and old memories (often negative) that limit our ability to connect with the Divine. In meditation when we relax deeply, concentrate at the point between the eyebrows and tune into the divine qualities we lift our consciousness and energy upward. Sometimes old memories are stimulated in the process. Just release those memories without dwelling on them or passing judgment. Offer them up to the point between the eyebrows and into the Divine Presence. This cleansing is part of the process of meditation. When we can offer these old memories fully into the Divine we are weakening old karmas and attachments. Meditation is a process of letting go of anything that holds us back from knowing who we truly are, a child of God.

Many blessings to you,
Nayaswami Mukti

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