Meditation & Obsessive Thoughts

by Charles


After getting through most of your book "Undisturbed: A Guide To Emotional Wellness", it hit me that while during meditation one tries to focus on one's breath and block thoughts, doesn't this seem to conflict with what you are saying?

Also, to dismiss obsessive thoughts, what have you found to be the most helpful way to start and helpful way to continue to do this until it becomes a habit? Thanks.


I suppose the main message of that book is that there need not be any ideal way to feel, that thoughts are very difficult to stop or block, and any self-created suffering will strengthen itself the more you resist it, judge it has bad or want it to be gone; that you are already that in which thoughts and sensations and emotions appear and disappear.

Being aware of the breath is fine. Trying to block thoughts might seem a great effort. If it works, that's fine, but thought appears by itself, without choice, so to try to stop thought appearing may seem quite arduous, and is not necessary in my opinion.

If you seek or try to create a thoughtless state, you may forever feel as if you are struggling.

Being aware of the breath is normal, but usually we believe ourselves to be entities, independent objects that can be aware of the breath or other things. But is that which is aware of the breath actually separate from the breath? Is there the breath as one thing and you as another thing, or is there actually no separation?

Being aware of the breath fits in with what the book says, since in being aware of the breath there is no resistance. If it is mixed with trying to feel a certain way or trying to reach a certain state, then I feel this becomes an unnecessary effort. Trying to block thoughts is not in line with the book’s message, I agree.

Obsessive Thoughts

Don’t call obsessive thoughts obsessive thoughts. That is a shortcut to them losing power. You don't have to deal with them in any way, notice that they happen by themselves. They live on the more you take yourself to be the thinker of them, or if you believe you must be able to control them. Are they not merely appearances, that do not have anyone "thinking" them?

See that struggling with any thought or stream of thinking merely keeps the stream alive. The struggle keeps the attention interested, and can create a dependency on the thoughts not being there. Let them do their own thing.

Meditation Without Attachment To Its Outcome

People can often feel like meditation is a means to an end, a way to get a silent mind, or a way to feel calm, or to be more creative. This is all fine as well, but the mind is likely to calm far sooner if thoughts are no longer given such importance. Whether they are there or not is not up to you. This attitude can promote relaxation, and easier meditation. It also relaxes the seeking mentality that can make the mind feel stronger than it really is (the mind in this case being thoughts that cause disturbance).

I hope that helps answer your question, but if you have any follow-ups, feel free to comment below.

All the best,


Comments for Meditation & Obsessive Thoughts

(from previous website)

Feb 21, 2015
By a "thought" to "decide" to be non resistant? 
by: Charles


Thank you for your thorough answer. Both books have been eye opening for me. I have had to read them several times to let it sink in. Ironically, isn't it your mind that makes a decision to be non resistant? I am not sure. Did you personally find non-resistance to take practice, time or effort? And when does non resistance become part of the being rather just a desire? thanks 

Feb 21, 2015
Response to Charles 
by: Adam -  

Yes we could say it is the mind. But we could also say it is the intelligence of the being. What we call the mind, at least the mind that creates suffering, tends to be resistance-based, so to no longer contribute to the resistance takes the power away from the suffering. But even resistance can happen by itself. If we look into who or what does this or that, you will ultimately get to no-one, or just become confused. You don't need to work it out. 

I never found nonresistance to be a desire. it is more of a seeing that arguing with yourself is quite futile, that nonresistance already is one with being, but is masked by an energy of resistance, which we often call the mind. Resistance is effort, but we are so accustomed to it that it can seem nonresistance requires effort. Just don't take sit on yourself to decide how the experience should be. 

Resistance is a habit so may still operate for a while. If you see it is completely automatic, that it comes and goes by itself, then it will lose its grip over time. However it is useful to see that in itself, inner resistance is not "wrong". It can just be painful and counter-productive. 

I would advise not holding on to any words as if they are the answers in themselves. Every word or phrase is just an attempt to point to where words come from. It needn’t be intellectual, and in fact any concept, even a spiritual one, can just become more mind-noise and limiting belief systems. 

I hope the material has been helping, 


Feb 21, 2015
Helpful / Thoughts 
by: Charles

Yes, thank you. Very helpful material. Has made me realize just how busy my mind was and now have realized 95%+ of my thoughts are either useless, a waste of time, destructive, false, rehersing, etc. Now when a thought comes I just say to myself "interesting" and move on or welcome it and that has helped even in this short time period. 

Feb 22, 2015
Response to Charles 
by: Adam -

Good. Thanks for getting in touch.