If we cannot force a mind to be quiet, how does a quiet mind come about that is not forced?
The mind is capable of seeing that what is disturbing it is itself an opposite. Here I am, and I am so concerned about tomorrow — my mind just won’t stop thinking about tomorrow. In the instant that the mind thinks about tomorrow, it has to create a self, an “I” a sense of self that sustains the fear. The self that is brought into existence by the disturbance cannot end the disturbance. When one understands that resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance, the mind that sees that, naturally quiets down by itself. No opposite can cancel itself. Just like a Chinese finger puzzle… what happens the more you pull? The tighter it gets. So can the answer be to pull harder? But the self that pulls can’t imagine what life would be if it weren’t struggling. When you see that nothing you struggle with in thought can be put to rest by the thought that struggles with it, the mind will quiet itself.
Am I correct when I think that we are not to be engaged in analysis of any thought when we are meditating?
Let me tell you a few things that can help set you free: There is no one way to pray. There is no one way to meditate. Real prayer, real meditation is the fruit of that part of you that seeks communion, the part of you that is not satisfied with what has so far come to you that you have brought to satisfy you. Gradually, as you work and wish and do interiorly what is necessary, the very nature that moved you to want to meditate, prepares you for what it will bring to you next.
In my book, The Lost Secrets of Prayer, I discuss what I call the “Thou art” prayer. One of the ways in which the mind becomes quieted for meditation is through uniting the mind, heart and will in the contemplation of one thing. So if you sit with that prayer… “Thou art the Absolute, Thou art the Beloved, Thou art the Christ, Thou art the Divine, Thou art the Everlasting, Thou art my Father, Thou art my God, Thou art my Heart”… you don’t just run words. The word “heart” is simply a tone that for us describes a concept, but in reality belongs to the heart of the universe and that which created it. So when one really contemplates the heart and is aware of what heart is, they experience the Heart that gives them the heart to do that. Get reckless! You’re so wrapped up in what you think you’re supposed to do. You have to get sick of that.