Answering questions of meditation - Part 2

5. What do we do when erroneous thinking arises?

When erroneous thinking arises, we need to turn back to reside in body (knowing the whole body). When we know the body to be impermanent, then erroneous thinking will disappear.

Actually, if we can realize an arising of erroneous thinking it is because we have blessing. If  we don’t have enough blessing, erroneous thinking will bead us to a wrong way for last long. So,we have to be careful about every thought, and we also need to do good deeds as much as possible.

If erroneous thinking and also drowsiness and illusion can keep on affecting us when we are meditating, we should understand that it is our past karma that has controlled us. At this point, we must confess our past sins.


6. Why do we get drowsy when meditating?

There are four causes:

- We don’t get enough sleep everyday

- Daily work makes us exhausted

- We don’t know well the whole body

- Past karma controls us.

The above four causes usually make us drowsy.

Thus, if we consider our drowsiness as the one of the above four causes, we have to adjust our daily life such as we need to sleep enough, or schedule daily activities, or practice Qi Gong.

If we have enough sleep everyday, and we are awaked when meditating, but we still get drowsy, we should know that we are controlled by karma. We need to have a thought of repentance and to pray the name of the Buddha so that our mind can get calm.

When our mind gets calm, we should turn back to knowing the whole body.

Knowing the whole body and having the thought of repentance and help us get out of drowsiness.


7. Why do we have to open the eyes when meditating at the first stage?

At the first stage our mind can’t be awake, while practice of meditation needs the awaking mind without thinking. At first, we open the eyes for two reasons:

- First, when the eyes are open we can immediately adjust our body if it’s imbalance.

- Second, we can be awake.


While opening the eyes we can’t completely keep our mind calm, but we need to do that expertly for a time. After our mind gets peaceful and conscious, we can close the eyes. At this time, when the eyes are close our mind can easily concentrate.

(Instruction on meditation of Thay: Thich Chan Quang)