This question relates to What happens when you empty your mind during meditation?

Its hard for me to understand, for me its easy to empty my mind on request, but that state, as peaceful as it is, does not feel like a "higher" state. Also, as desirable as tranquility is, its not happiness. which in my opinion more desirable. Is it a necessary precursor to happiness?

asked 06 Jul '11, 17:05

helo's gravatar image


converted to question 11 Feb '12, 18:20

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

Blubird, I think I prefer the phrase "a still mind" to an "empty" mind.

Somehow or other, the thought of an empty mind gives me images of lobotomized people...Comatose patients...fetuses...

Just a thought...




answered 13 Feb '12, 01:41

Jaianniah's gravatar image


@blubird two- I guess we are arguing semantics...which can be rather fun, and go on for quite a while LOL! Now, a sleeping mind is far from "still"- ever heard of all the atates of sleep and especially REM sleep where we are dreaming??? The brain burns something like 600 calories while we are (as you say) "still" in our sleep...Now, the void you mention I guess comes from the Buddhist point of view where Nirvana is the preferred state i.e. The Void. {Buzzer rings] Okay,okay, but I still...

(13 Feb '12, 10:28) Jaianniah

contend that, at least to me, a True-Red-White-And-Blue American of Christian heritage, an empty mind implies "Tabula Rasa" and shades of Aristotle and other philosophers and Psychologists and a Blubird or two...(being funny here--trying to keep the humor going) So, I guess, in the end, it comes down to adjectives and semantics. How about"peaceful"? Would you buy that one??? Love you <3

(13 Feb '12, 10:33) Jaianniah

@Jai - peaceful is fine with me :)

(13 Feb '12, 23:11) blubird two
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

well helo that is because you just empty it and do not solve annything. so for you right now it is like jumping and falling back on the ground nothing has change. another example your mind his a puzzle box sure you can empty the box and refil it and say nothing has changed; but if you would do the puzzle and put it done in the box you would say something has changed i am not trouble by the puzzle anny more it his solve and now i have peace of mind always. and i know how to make puzzle if i encounter anny more in my life. and i agree with you just to empty the mind and refill it is not a higher state it his the same state with a pause from stress in between. experience and enjoy.

Witnessing the flow of mind: Witnessing your thoughts is a most important aspect of Yoga practice. Witnessing the thought process means to be able to observe the natural flow of the mind, while not being disturbed or distracted. This brings a peaceful state of mind, which allows the deeper aspects of meditation and samadhi to unfold, revealing that which is beyond, which is Yoga or Unity.

Encounter, explore, train, and transcend mind: Between where we are and Self-Realization stands the mind. To attain the direct experience of the Self, which is beyond the mind, we must encounter and explore the mind itself, so as to transcend it. Even a cursory review of the Yoga Sutras reveals that it is an instruction manual on how to examine and train the mind, so as to go beyond.

Are you willing to explore within?: The first question about your state of mind is to ask yourself if you are willing to explore your own thoughts and thought process. It does not mean a perfect or absolute readiness and willingness, but it does mean having an attitude in which there is a sincere intent to move inward. The problem comes when we don't want to do this, saying to ourselves that such inner exploration is not needed for the spiritual journey. This is one of the main reasons that so many people practice so-called meditation for years and decades, yet privately complain of not making progress.

  1. Ekagra/one-pointed: The ekagra mind is one-pointed, focused, concentrated (Yoga Sutra 1.32). When the mind has attained the ability to be one-pointed, the real practice of Yoga meditation begins. It means that one can focus on tasks at hand in daily life, practicing karma yoga, the yoga of action, by being mindful of the mental process and consciously serving others. When the mind is one-pointed, other internal and external activities are simply not a distraction. In the second sutra of the Yoga Sutras, Yoga is defined as "Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirrudah," which is roughly translated as "Yoga is the control [Nirrudah] of the thought patterns of the mind field". Thus, this Nirrudah state of mind is the goal and definition of Yoga. It is the doorway by which we go beyond the mind.

What to do:

Observe the rise and fall of thoughts: Simply observe the individual thought patterns that naturally flow in the stream of the mind. They rise and fall as a normal process. Then, simply observe whether a certain thought pattern is Colored or Not-Colored, Klishta or Aklishta.

Vidya is with knowledge: Vidya means knowledge, specifically the knowledge of Truth. It is not a mere mental knowledge, but the spiritual realization that is beyond the mind. When the "A" is put in front of Vidya (to make it Avidya), the "A" means without.

Know yourself: By whichever philosophical model one follows, this process of labeling and witnessing thought processes and patterns is a profoundly useful practice on the path to Enlightenment. It is a major part of the perennial wisdom that suggests that you, "Know Yourself" to follow the spiritual journey. It is the journey from the mere self to the True Self.

Witnessing is an essential skill: The ability to witness the individual thoughts and the whole stream of thoughts is one of the important skills in practicing meditation. In this way meditation can turn into the higher state of samadhi. It means that the mind is truly able to focus without being disturbed. Then, this focus (one-pointedness called ekagra) and the quality of being undisturbed by the thoughts (non-attachment, or vairagya) can allow a natural piercing of the layers of consciousness, and expansion to That which is beyond.


answered 12 Feb '12, 03:40

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

Hm... so you're saying you want to be on the happy vibration all the time? Those kind of people are usually pyschopaths or drug addicts. That attempt to feel orgasmic or high rush... I believe there's no precursor to either happiness or tranquility. You can choose to be one or maybe even both. It really just depends on your definition of happiness. We all have our own, as you just read my definition of what it means to have constant happiness. Sorry if it doesn't exactly coincide with yours.


answered 13 Feb '12, 01:22

Ali00's gravatar image


After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you." what kind of addiction do you have?

(14 Feb '12, 22:48) white tiger

Hi helo.

I love the fact that you used the word "tranquility" in your question because that word in a nutshell describes the underlying state of mind of a predominantly "happy" person.

Have you noticed that you could be in perfect physical health for a long time and never realize how wonderful it is to be healthy until you suddenly fall sick?

It is only in sickness that you truly examine the wonderful joy of the absence of physical discomfort.

Right now, you may be far happier on a day-to-day basis than you may realize.

How many times do you smile and laugh in a day?

Do you really cry and emotionally suffer in silence the same number of times as you smile and laugh?

Chances are we all experience more joy than suffering as a normal state of mind each and every day.

But then do we really want to constantly be happy?

That's no different from wanting to constantly participate in physical pleasures.

Imagine eating constantly all day because you want to stay within the pleasure of eating food?

Trying to be continuously happy is about as pointless as that.

We can't be constantly happy because it is an exaggerated state of mind that is only meaningful when it is juxtaposed against other emotional states of mind.

I think that when we seek "happiness" we are actually seeking the absence of sadness and suffering, which is also impossible as Lord Buddha discovered on his way to enlightenment.

So there is only one state of mind that comes close to satisfying the "idea" of happiness that can be comfortably maintained by anyone without needing any special spiritual advantage or faith.

And that is tranquility.

One can be fully awake and be fully participating in life while maintaining tranquility.

Tranquility allows for all emotions to exist within you without causing concern and confusion within your intellect.

If the place to be in your body is at "fitness" then the place to be in your mind is definitely at "tranquility".

Once you find tranquility within your mind, you will notice that you are predominantly positive and comfortable within yourself.

And furthermore, within tranquility you can observe your mind attracting fear discomfort and suffering and yet have the clarity of observation to immediately do inner adjustments within your psyche to reverse or deflect the usual emotional hijacking of your center of balance that these emotions usually impose upon your day to day self.

Often, once you are within an emotional crisis, it is hard to find a point of reference from where you can see you way out of it, because you have already been swept along into the center of that emotion, and you need rescuing in the form of a friend , a psychiatrist, or prescription medication.

If, on the other hand, you have spent the time and effort to discover tranquility and have practiced finding this tranquility within you in all situations, you will find that you can depend on your inner self to guide you through all types of physical and emotional melt-downs with surprising ease.

I think it is because the communication between you and your higher self is very clear within tranquility.

And so, being able to maintain this connection to your higher self while you are in a crisis allows you to deal with the crisis with relative ease.

You can almost say that maintaining tranquility is the closest thing to being constantly happy.

But in reality it is not that you are actually constantly happy, but rather, you are constantly being OK within yourself.

You are OK within being absolutely happy and you are OK within being at the middle of the worst crisis.

Tranquility is not about being quiet or silent within yourself. It is more about surrendering yourself to any situation with the knowing that you are going to be OK.

It is about releasing the inner resistance to the situation you are in.

It is when you no longer need to know WHY something happened to you.
It is when you no longer need to know WHEN your situation is going to change.
It is when you no longer care HOW it is going to change.
It is when it doesn’t matter WHO is going to show up as the agent of change.
It is when you no longer need to figure out WHERE you have to be for the best opportunity of change.

When none of these things matter you are in tranquility.

These questions of WHY, WHEN, HOW, WHO and WHERE will keep any person in constant emotional turmoil because no answer will truly quench the inner environment of imbalance that is created by the energy of such questions.

Tranquility has the power to neutralize such inner turmoil. So it’s the best prescription for happiness.


answered 14 Feb '12, 21:14

The%20Traveller's gravatar image

The Traveller

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Asked: 06 Jul '11, 17:05

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Last updated: 14 Feb '12, 22:48

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