a reply to: qmantoo
A couple of quotes from "Turning Confusion into Clarity" by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche:
Addressing the OP's specific issue:
This is somewhat out of context but relevant:
"You practice open awareness with 100 percent relaxation, meaning that whatever arises is perfect just the way it is.... If you relax 200 percent
(posters note: meaning try too hard) then you get pulled in one of two directions: you try so strenuously to force relaxation that you become more
tense or you become so loose that you slump over and fall asleep."
Meditation, of any kind, is meerly conscious awareness so you must be conscious of what transpires; if you are not, then it is not meditation.
I think there is a lot of confusion about what meditation is. It is not not-thinking. Nor is it a contest of some sort.
Another quote to clarify:
"Many strategies exist to annihilate thoughts, such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, overeating, needless shopping, or surfing the internet -
activities that narrow the mind through addiction and complusion. Nowadays many people have the idea that mediation offers an effective way to get
rid of unwnted throught. Many people think that the goal of paying attention to a flower, for example, is to supress or push away thoughts. This
might work for a few seconds, but when we release our tight focus on the object, the thoughts flood right back into our mind. There is no lasting or
Meditation does offer a sane way to work with out mind. but we do not meditate to get rid of thoughs. this is the number one misunderstanding
Thinking, like breathing, is a natural activity. Trying to impose an artificial blankness is the exact opposite of how we work with the natural
clarity of mind."
It's a very good book and though in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, it is remarkably useful for meditators of all religions and traditions or none at