The story goes that all the ancient yogic wisdom was revealed to the rishis (seers) during deep states of meditation. This one simple sentence has reeked havoc on my meditation practice this morning!!
I light the candle, say my prayers, I begin repeating the mantra. It's not long before I'm aware of all these random thoughts. I'm not fazed by the thoughts, I have the mantra. I'm good. I know that sometimes it takes 5 or 10 minutes for my mind to settle down. I'm repeating my mantra patiently waiting for wave to take me to meditation.
Then this pesky little thought keeps coming back "What if one of these random thoughts is some ancient wisdom being revealed to me and I'm not paying attention". Are you kidding me? What the heck would make me think that some ancient wisdom is going to be revealed to ME? And so the debate begins and I missed the wave. Damn it! I don't have time for this non-sense so I decide to try to out smart my mind
(Do you see the craziness that goes on?) by using a longer mantra. Using the longer mantra means that I need to concentrate more on the mantra which means that I pay less attention to the random thoughts. At least that's the idea. The reality is that it doesn't always work. Sometimes I give us and just watch the thoughts but I always sit for at least 20 minutes.
As it turns out, there was some ancient wisdom that was revealed to me today. I learned how to distinguish a random thought from ancient yogic wisdom. The secret is that if it's truly wisdom I'll know it even after meditation. If it's a random thought - it will float away like a cloud. So the bottom line is you don't have to pay attention to the thoughts during meditation. Whatever you are suppose to learn from your meditation you'll just know after.
Wow! That's a relief. The other thing I discovered is that even just sitting back watching the thoughts is meditation. Sometimes I don't realize how deep I've gone until I'm coming out of meditation and it takes longer to get back to the surface. Oh, the other strange thing I've been noticing is that the deeper the meditation the more clear and bright everything looks afterwards. Visually, I mean, not metaphorically. My vision is actually crisper, more clear. So weird. Interesting.... but so weird.
If you're worried that you don't get the secret yogic teachings from your meditation I would suggest that you keep a journal next to you as you meditate. After meditation, jot down any random thoughts that come to you. Knowing that you'll have to time to write them down afterwards may help you to relax a little during the meditation.
Now if only I knew a mantra that would reveal the lottery numbers - Now that would be bliss..... Oh, wait. That's not right! --- Om Namah Shiva.....