Restless Mind During Meditation

Question

I have been practising energization technique and hong shau meditation twice daily for the past few months. It has given me joy and calmness but I kind of feel like my mind is chattering all the time. I am speaking within myself much more than before. I am starting to notice how much my mind chatters. What could be the reason behind this? Could you please kindly provide me with some suggestions?

—dimonsumy, Nepal

Answer

Dear Dimonsumy,

First I am so glad to hear you are experiencing calmness and joy, two aspects of the Divine Presence in your meditation. This indicates you are definitely going in the right direction with your practice.

The restless, chattering mind is part of our consciousness until we enter into Samadhi, a state of perfect oneness with the Divine. Could it be that since you have experienced calmness and joy in your meditation that you are simply more aware of when you are not in that state and more aware of the chatter? For most people, except those who are advanced spiritually, the mental chatter is constant and often below their awareness. This chatter usually comes from subconscious, old habits of thought, or replaying of past experiences associated with strong emotions, or even worries about the future. Sometimes it is just random thoughts. You may be more aware of your mental chatter when you are not meditating but just going about your day since during meditation you are experiencing calmness and joy which are associated with a state of higher awareness, known as superconsciousness. Meditation practices, especially Hong Sau, are meant to calm restlessness. The spiritual path is always a process of becoming. When you notice restlessness in meditation simply return to use of the technique. Once you enter complete stillness you will not need spiritual techniques but until then technique is essential.

The answer to restless thoughts is to return to focusing your concentration on higher realities. During the day feel awareness at the point between the eyebrows as you go about your activities. Tune into the flow of breath even as you engage in daily tasks. Let the breath remind you to live from your center. As in the energization exercises be aware of the flow of energy through your body as you move about and serve. In fact you could not move a muscle without divine energy flowing through you so tune into that energy throughout your day. As in the expansion phase of Hong Sau infuse your everyday thoughts with calmness and joy and let them guide you in your next steps.

Approach restless thoughts not by attempting to suppress them but instead be aware of them, be thankful that you are aware, and then freely offer them up into the Divine Presence allowing this mental energy to rise, expand and become still. The more you can release restless thoughts once you notice them rather than clinging to them by pursing the thought thread or reacting emotionally, the more you will build a habit of living in stillness and higher awareness.

Many Blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti