“Meditation for the Love of it” : Sally Kempton (Swami Durganada)

When I was first meditating, and feeling like a complete victim of my vagrant and uncontrollable thoughts, this teaching offered me the first hint that there might be a path through the thicket of my 


I had been looking at thoughts as the enemy—especially the negative thoughts, the angry thoughts, and the irreverent, ungodly thoughts.

But something radical happened when I remembered to look at thoughts and feelings—the difficult, negative, greedy ones, as well as the peaceful, loving, and smart ones—simply as constructions of the same subtle, invisible, highly dynamic “stuff.”


For the first time in my life, I could let go of my fascination with the content of a thought.


My neighbor’s five-year-old eats Froot Loops for breakfast, but he will only eat the red Froot Loops and won’t touch the green. He doesn’t yet see that the red ones and the green ones are both made of the same sugary stuff.


In just the same way, we get so bamboozled by the stories our thoughts are telling us—by the content of them—that we neglect to look at what is actually inside a thought.

I often do an exercise with students. I ask them to imagine a chair, and then “look” at the image of the chair that has formed in their mind.


Then I ask them what the chair is made of. Many people will answer “wood” or “metal.”

It takes a moment for them to recognize that the chair in their mind has no substantiality at all, but that it is made of energy, energy that their mind has shaped into a particular pattern

Once you can see that the chair you have formed in the mind is made of the stuff of your own mind-energy, then you can also dissolve that image back into the mind, just as you can dissolve the distracting fantasy or even the emotionally painful memory.


It’s also possible to let the thought-forming energy in the mind relax back into its underlying substance, to deconstruct itself, to become naturally loose and free.

To be able to recognize this is literally to be liberated from the tyranny of thoughts.

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