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Stop Meditation 101

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Sat gives a very complete description of the purpose and technique of Stop Meditation.

Sat: We have all read or heard so much about how we must control our minds, how to not go with our thoughts, or how to not have negative thoughts and how to only have good thoughts and to stay positive.

If you are not familiar with the tool of Stop Meditation, you may say to yourself, “This is no big deal; we have heard this many, many times and we already know that going with the thoughts causes suffering, that we must control our thoughts, push them aside, or assert our will to stand up to them.” But I must say that twenty some years ago, before having received Stop Meditation, I had tried all of these methods of being positive and resisting the mind, etc., but the results from all of them were very temporary for me. At that time, the thoughts had been read so many times and so often, and I was so identified with them that I felt as though I was completely one with them, to the point where I had no peace or balance left. I had surrendered to the mind and I felt like I was choking. I felt that there really was no hope, and I preferred death to living. But Stop Meditation is different from all of these methods. What is the difference? The practice of Stop Meditation requires a lot of discipline. Stop Meditation or silence, is the base to freedom, and practicing it correctly is very important. Anyone who wants to do this meditation must first ask themselves two very important questions.

First of all: How badly do I want to find my freedom, meaning in order to be free from the mind, the thoughts and the world, what am I willing to do? The second question is this: How tired am I of suffering and reading repeated thoughts, and how much interest and perseverance am I willing to put forth in order to see the results play out in my life?

This meditation requires devotion, not effort. It requires perseverance, and practicing it is possible in any given situation. Not only does the opportunity to practice this exist in any situation, but truthfully, it should be practiced in any given situation. Just remember that it requires perseverance, but not effort. In reality, not putting in actual effort is the most correct way to practice this meditation.

So how do we practice Stop Meditation? In the beginning, you must set aside a time during the day to practice it. Whether you have worries or not at that time, whether you are happy or not, etc., you must practice this meditation daily. You must have discipline hand in hand with the understanding that the mind’s job is to think, so then now what is our responsibility with respect to it? Our responsibility is to have discipline. What does discipline mean here? It means that we sit and under no condition do we converse with our thoughts; we just watch them. We don’t repeat a mantra or imagine a bright light; we don’t interfere with the thoughts or the workings of the mind at all. We just sit and we do not converse with the mind very effortlessly. In the beginning, it is best to do this practice while sitting in a private place, by taking a few deep breaths and emptying ourselves with each breath. In between each breath, we pause, and feel like we are sinking down. Then we give our attention to the silence within. As soon as we shift our attention within, we become aware of the silence, and we sit there and watch the thoughts, without becoming involved with them, being affected by them or trying to achieve a certain result, without moving, without fearing them or trying to run away from them – without even being tired of the thoughts and wanting them to not be there anymore, we sit very comfortably, without any reaction. In this meditation, we have nothing to do with the thoughts or thinking. We allow the thoughts to come and go, because these thoughts that we have personalized are universal thoughts (meaning they are not personal, because they are a product of the universal mind). When worry, anxiety, fear or any other negative emotion comes, we don’t resist them, push them away, fear them, run away from them, love them or judge ourselves or others over them. We don’t feel a sense of hopelessness regarding life, when it comes to the thoughts; rather we allow the mind to do its thing, as we sit calmly and peacefully in our silence, with ironclad perseverance, without struggling. We just watch, and we watch some more. In the beginning of this practice, the thoughts come on strongly; but it only appears that they have power, and that is because we believed them and felt they were real and therefore have the power to break us. Of course this feeling belongs to the one who thinks, it does not belong to that which we really are. So we sit and we watch both the thinker and the thoughts. Even though the thoughts are many, our concentration is on our silence. Believing and identifying with the thoughts is like a cloud that is blocking the sun, thus making you think that the sun isn’t shining. In these instances, we say the sun isn’t out, but in reality it is the clouds that have dropped down and are therefore covering the sun. The clouds are passing and transient, and they possess no power. It is the sun which, through its effulgence and perseverance, can push the clouds away. If we accept the thoughts, we cannot see the power of the sun, but if we accept that the sun is always there, and that the clouds are temporary and passing, we will no longer be affected much by the presence or the absence of a cloud in the sky. Concentrating on silence and watching the thoughts in silence shows that we have come to the realization that the sun never went anywhere. By sitting and watching, we allow these thoughts to come and go, and little by little, with total interest and an intense perseverance, the temporary, passing and made up thoughts give way to freedom, expansion and a silence unlike anything we have ever tasted or experienced. Little by little, this practice can occur all throughout the day. Any time we feel that we are entangled with the thoughts, we are immediately reminded to Stay. Freely Stay. Stay without worries. Stay without reactions. Stay without trying to get a particular result or struggling. Just Stay! Stay where? In silence and indifference!

This practice allows us to be the watcher of the thoughts, instead of being entangled with them. Doing this requires great interest and perseverance. I have heard many of you say, “We never go with our thoughts, and we are very happy and peaceful,” yet I see that those who say this are still totally identified with the mind. Not going with the thoughts means effortlessly watching the chain of thoughts and for this reason Stop Meditation requires continuous practice daily. Each time we do this meditation, we take a step forward, and even though we may take two steps back the next day, the difference now is that we have been given the method for doing this, and our freedom is in our own hands. Don’t wait until you have worries or concerns to do this practice, because by that time, if you haven’t laid the groundwork, it’ll be too late for that. For this reason, Stop Meditation should be done daily with regards to the thoughts, until the effect of the thoughts gets less and less for you.

Now you might say, “When we have worries or something is really bothering us, this is very hard to do. What should we do then?” You are right; but with unwavering concentration, you can allow your being to relax, without being affected by the thoughts, if even for a short time. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we spend twenty-four hours a day, day and night, influenced by the thoughts. Now we are learning how to find freedom from involvement with the thoughts and our reaction to them.

Stop Meditation seems very simple, but it is not about affirmations, being positive or even not giving importance to the thoughts. It is none of these; so what is it? Stop Meditation means STOP. Stop Meditation is not negotiating with the thoughts, and saying to them, “Don’t come now, come tomorrow.” One of the reasons that I have been talking about this method for years is that nobody can claim that they got it in a month and are done. I am telling you this so you won’t feel discouraged or weak in your practice, because it is not easy, but it must eventually be done, period! Sometimes it is easier to do and other times it is harder. Stop Meditation is the method that uproots the thoughts, without you having to work too hard to eliminate them. Through this method, little by little, your Being becomes empty and gets replaced with your true Self, meaning that the real Self becomes apparent.

If we feel that we are struggling to practice this or that it is requiring a lot of effort, it is because we don’t have mastery of it yet, and we are still under the influence of the thoughts, meaning that the thoughts still frighten us, and we also want to convince ourselves to not go with them. But there is not a need here of convincing ourselves of something or fearing anything; all we need is just a deep, passive and effortless gaze, and this only comes about through practice, perseverance and effortless effort. The result of this meditation is freedom from this dream that is immersed in ignorance, from this life of constant change, suffering and pain. This is one of the most important meditations; all of the other meditations that have come so far have only served to lay the foundation for doing this meditation. As long as the mind is active and can get our attention and invoke emotion in us, and keep the thinker in power, our life is still one of hardship, fear and flight, as it was before. So do this practice with interest and great perseverance, again and again, two, three, ten, a hundred, a thousand, and a million times. Ordinarily, throughout the day, all of our focus is on the thoughts, all of our achieving is based on the thoughts, all of our judgments are based on the thoughts, our contradiction is in the thoughts, our breakage is in the thoughts, our happiness is in the thoughts – and these are all temporary. Now, with this practice we watch this way of living unfold with a passive gaze, with excitement and joy in the news that eventually this practice will empty the mind of thoughts and free us of pain and suffering once and for all. When the mind is emptied, the thinker is also gone. And what is the thinker? It is the personality or the ego, which is the source of suffering, misperception and misunderstanding, which led us down the wrong path.

I want to tell those who are interested in learning this practice to sit for a short period of time each day and practice. By doing so, not only will they experience more peace, but they will also realize that they are no longer afraid when the thoughts attack, because they have a tool in their hands that can calm them. It is like we are in the jungle of this Creation, but we are not of it. Now we have food given to us so that we can survive in this jungle.

I hope that this method will be beneficial for each and every one of you, just as it has been for those who use it. If you don’t get an immediate result from this method, know that it is because we are used to reading the thoughts, and some read the thoughts more than others. Just persevere. Whether it is this lifetime, the next, or the one thereafter, we must go back to an empty mind and the tool to achieve it is this meditation. There is no other solution aside from not going with the mind!

Remember, this method is not about not thinking, pushing the thoughts away, or being positive; it is not even about not going with the thoughts!

Stop Meditation means not being moved by your thoughts; it means Being still.

From Sat’s book, "Silence of the Mind” (currently being translated from Farsi to English)

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