Enjoying the Gap

Enjoying the Gap between Thoughts

By Desmond Yeoh

Ceramic Products Manufacturer in Malaysia

Ceramic Products

Enjoying the gap between thoughts; that is what meditation is all about. The word ‘enjoy’ needs to be emphasised. Meditation is something we do because it is enjoyable and not something carried out as a means to an end. It is not something done out of obligation to gain favour from the Divine. It is meant to be enjoyed.

The periods before and after our meditation sessions are as important as the meditation sessions themselves. Before we start our meditation sessions, it is useful to do activities which can calm our mind. If we have been at work the whole day, our mind would be very active. Our train of thoughts would be like prayers beads strung tightly together. One thought trigger another and so on and the gap between thoughts would be hardly noticeable. It is like a rolling ball. We need to allow a period of time for the ball to slow down to a stop.

Doing relaxing yoga postures is one good alternative. The postures should be done in a relaxing manner so that they feel comfortable; like how we stretch when we wake up in the morning. It would be counter-productive if the postures are painful. Reading spiritual books and listening to mantras or meditation music can also be effective.

During our meditation sessions, it may be helpful to choose an object to focus our mind. The most popular and easy to use meditation object is the breath. In the beginning, we observe the natural flow of our breath. As we observe our breath, we also bring our attention to our thoughts. Our mental chatter cannot sustain itself forever. Eventually, there will always be gaps between our mental chatter. When we fall into that gap, it is a pleasant feeling because we are truly present; we are not taken back to the past by our memories or projected into the future by our hopes and worries. In that gap, the ego temporarily disappears[1].  In that gap, we are resting our head on the lap of the Divine.

When we are troubled by some unpleasant feeling, some of us may choose to distract ourselves by indulging in intoxicants or other ‘fun’ activities. This only gives temporary relief. When the distraction is over, we will feel worse that we originally did.

We may try to think positively and ‘think’ ourselves out of feeling down. We may look for a friend to talk to. Both methods attempt to use the mind to solve the problem which the mind created in the first place!

Based on my personal experience, it is more effective to enjoy the peace that comes from resting in the gap between our thoughts. Unpleasant feelings can sometimes be very stubborn. Even while we are resting in the gap, the unpleasant feeling can still be felt as a heavy feeling in our heart. But if we continue to rest in the gap and observe the feeling, we will realise that the feeling is no big deal. It is just a feeling that is less painful than an ant bite. When we realise this, the feeling will just fall away. That is how we take control of our emotions so that they do not take control of our life.

However, after resting in the gap for a while, our mind may get bored and the mental chatter may come back or we may start day dreaming again. This may happen more frequently at the beginning of our meditation session. That is fine. Eventually, the mental chatter will die down again and we will be resting in the gap between our thoughts again. When we observe our thoughts, they immediately quiet down. When we observe the gap between our thoughts, it tends to get longer. This is wonderful. The Divine must have made it this way to make it easier for us to have inner-peace.

Once we discover that meditation is the best solution to our problems, we will never go back to distractions. Meditation is free. If we turn to meditation as the solution to our daily problems, we will have more spending money!

After our meditation sessions, it is important to observe the benefits that we gain from it so that we are motivated to come back to it. We will find that we are more energetic and calm. We will find that we are more likely to act with wisdom instead of reacting based on our habitual patterns. When we see this clearly, our meditations will become a fun activity that we naturally turn to when we are free.

Conversely, if we have indulged ourselves in distractions, we will feel tired and irritable. We do not take drugs because the repercussions would be serious. Indulging in the sense pleasures is not as serious but they do have negative repercussions. They affect our mental well-being and our health. That is why mediation is the best solution to all our problems.

[1] I have discussed about the ego in my previous book ‘We are Here to Celebrate’.

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Related Articles: Practicing AwarenessThe Gap between Thoughts, Inner-Peace: The Guiding Light,The Living Computer, The Best Kept Secrets of Maya,Using the breath to neutralise negative emotions, The Last Conversation, Why the Buddha Laughed when he reached Enlightenment

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