Q&A: The silent mind
Ideally, should one reject all thoughts during meditation?
The best thing is to try not to allow any thought to enter into your mind, whether it is a good thought or a bad thought. It is as though you are in your room, and somebody is knocking at your door. You have no idea whether it is an enemy or a friend. Divine thoughts are your true friends, and undivine thoughts are your enemies. You would like to allow your friends to enter, but you do not know who your friends are. And even if you do know who your friends are, when you open the door for them you may find that your enemies are also there.
Then, before your friends can cross the threshold, your enemies will also enter. You may not even notice any undivine thoughts, but while the divine thoughts are entering, the undivine thoughts, like thieves, will also secretly enter and create tremendous confusion. Once they have entered, it is very difficult to chase them out. For that you need the strength of solid spiritual discipline. For fifteen minutes you may cherish spiritual thoughts and then, in just a fleeting second, an undivine thought will come. So the best thing is not to allow any thoughts at all during your meditation. Just keep the door bolted from inside.
There was a time when I loved you, 0 my thought-world. But now I love the beauty of a silence-mind and the purity of a gratitude-heart.
Your real friends will not go away. They will think, "Something is wrong with him. Usually he is so kind to us. So there must be some special reason why he is not opening the door." They have sympathetic oneness, so they will wait indefinitely. But your enemies will wait just for a few minutes. Then they will lose all patience and say, "It is beneath our dignity to waste our time here." These enemies have their pride. They will say, "Who cares? Who needs him? Let us go and attack somebody else." If you pay no attention to a monkey, the monkey will eventually go away and bite somebody else. But your friends will say, "No, we need him and he needs us. We will wait indefinitely for him." So after a few minutes your enemies will go away. Then you can open the door and your dearest friends will be there waiting for you.
If you meditate regularly and devotedly, after some time you will become inwardly strong. Then you will be able to welcome the divine thoughts and chase away the undivine thoughts. If you are getting a thought of divine love, divine peace or divine power, then you will allow that thought to enter into you and expand. You will let it play and grow in the garden of your mind. While the thought is playing and you are playing with it, you will see that you are growing into it. Each divine thought that you let in will create a new and fulfilling world for you, and will surcharge your entire being with divinity.
After a few years of meditation you will have enough inner strength to let in even the undivine thoughts. When an undivine thought comes into your mind, you will not reject it; you will transform it. When somebody undivine knocks at your door, if you have enough strength to compel him to behave properly once he enters, then you can open the door for him. Eventually you have to accept the challenge and conquer these wrong thoughts; otherwise, they will come back to bother you again and again.
I am so proud of my mind. Why? Because it has started enjoying little things: a simple thought, a pure heart, a humble life.
You have to be a divine potter. If the potter is afraid to touch the clay, then the clay will remain always clay and the potter will not be able to offer anything to the world. But if the potter is not afraid, he can transform the clay into something beautiful and useful. It is your bounden duty to transform undivine thoughts, but only when you are in a position to do so safely.