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No! Meditation is not about thinking about nothing! It's about focusing on your breath. Think only about breathing.

That sounds boring but manageable. 'Thinking about nothing' seems impossible and stupid at the same time; people who do the disservice of saying that should be slapped.

The point of meditation is to learn how to control your thoughts, specifically in being able to realize that your are choosing your current train of thought, and that you can switch it at any time. If you are stuck worrying, or being sad, or unable to see the richness in something, it's most likely because you can't properly focus on the only thing you'll ever have in life: this moment.

There are many goals to meditation. Sometimes it starts with focusing on your breath. Sometimes it's in the form of chanting. Depends on the school of thought, the individual, the goal (if you have one). It's not valid to say "No!" as though what he's proposing is wrong.


While you & the author are technically right, batgaijin is saying that it's bad advice for beginners to be told "think of nothing".

Hehe, I was just describing what my friend said about meditating. I did, in fact, tell her that it wasn't really about thinking about "nothing." Talking about the specifics of meditation wasn't really my aim here :)

>That sounds boring but manageable. 'Thinking about nothing' seems impossible and stupid at the same time; people who do the disservice of saying that should be slapped.

Sounds like you could use some time meditating about your hostile attitude :) Seriously though, so much of eastern thought related to mediation involves paradoxes that a practitioner reflects on in order to grow.

Think about nothing

Observe your thoughts in a detached state

Do no work but get everything done


I started learning about meditation from the standpoint of trying to detach myself from the constant buzz of thoughts (i.e. 'thinking about nothing'). I seriously doubt that there is a entirely right or wrong way to teach meditation since it ultimately involves a process of self discovery and coming up with whatever metaphor works best for oneself is an important part of the process.

I am hostile because I put off seriously trying meditation for a long time in life simply because of how poorly it had been explained and how religions and hippies co-opted it.

Religion co-opted meditation? Now that's an interesting take... How then did meditation originate if not in the context of the religions that originally incorporated it?

It sounds like you let other's understandings create your own, instead of using your own interests to drive your understanding.

Agreed. That's how I was trained, at least. Although the end goal is to quiet your mind and gain more control over it, to think of one thing instead of a bunch of crabs on a string scuttling everywhere. So you could sort of sum of the end goal of a quiet mind as "think of nothing" but the one current thing...I'd definitely prefer other wording.

If you imagine your thoughts as a directed graph of associations, it's clear that the only way to stay in one place is with a thought that links back to itself. Otherwise, you'll go off along some tangent and end up elsewhere.

> 'Thinking about nothing' seems impossible

That's because it is impossible.

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