What’s in a language?

20 Nov

As we all know, it is very tough to be without thoughts while meditating. Usually, my thoughts wander everywhere while I am in supposedly deep dhyanam.Last week, my half-hour meditation with my perceptor went something like this:
8:00AM:Meditation starts.
8:00 – 8:05AM: Trying to get into a comfortable position and start meditating.
8:05:05AM:I am trying to get into a trance when few thoughts pass by.I started wondering about what food to cook that day .I finally decided,” Pesama verum rasamum , beans currium pannidalam .Simple-a mudinjidum”.You see, the key to meditation is to finish your thoughts and slowly set them aside so that you can concentrate on meditating.
8:05:06 – 8:10AM:Getting back to Meditating…
8:10AM:Oops! Another thought. I started thinking about the argument I had with Suresh the previous day.Since I was meditating,my BP did not flare up but I started thinking,”Maybe I should have just kept quiet. But, still how could he have said something like that”.
8:10:05AM:Then , for no apparent reason,I was thinking about the Murukkus sent by MIL.I started thinking,”Pavam Aunty,kashta pattu avalvum senju anuppuchirukanga”. I guess Suresh formed the link to my MIL.I forced myself to set aside my thoughts.Back to meditation.
8:10:06- 8:20AM: Deep meditation.
8:20:01AM:There I was ,experiencing levitation, when out of nowhere came this thought that I should not forget calling my parents that night. “Maridhe Ammange Call madbeku”.
8:20:02 – 8:30AM:
I was totally out of meditation as I started thinking about writing this blog. Have you ever wondered in what language you usually think.People are supposed to think in the language that they are fluent with.For most of us, it could be our mother tongue.Since I am not fluent in any language, I found out that I think in almost all languages known to me except Hindi.It also depends on what language I usually use to converse with a particular person. If it is mostly in Tamil, then I tend to think about them in Tamil etc.If I am angry or frustrated,my language invariably switches to English regardless of whom I am talking to. If I am thinking about my office work, it is always in English . I have to admit though that I never think in “C,C++,JAVA”. Just so we are clear about that.Next time, when you are deep in your thoughts, note down what language you are thinking in. I am sure you will find it interesting.


Posted by on November 20, 2005 in From AM-KICKING blog


5 responses to “What’s in a language?

  1. bumblebee

    November 20, 2005 at 11:00 pm

    Survivor, interesting topic. I used to wonder which language we dreamt in. I came to the conclusion, dreams have no languages. When I conciously think, I think in English or Tamil. At a more sub-conscious level, I believe there is no language.

    When I want to communicate sad or angry expressions, I find my fluency in English surprises me even. And my husband goes “Peter Peter…” to annoy me even further 😦 When it comes to happiness, I noticed I have a bounce in my walk, more laughter etc – that is mylanguage to express happiness.

  2. sdpal

    November 21, 2005 at 7:53 pm

    Im no expert in meditation.
    From what I was taught, I can say, you are going in the right direction. Trying to watch your thoughts as you sit quite in meditation. And even remembering the time and thoughts is a really good start. I would say more than good. As you practice, the no. of thoughts will reduce in count and will center on one thought.
    Although, I understand this blog is not about meditation. Its quite funny to read about murukku and rasam on meditating thoughts. For me, it was movies/home/India etc. Sometimes even tv ad.. “Whats in your wallet..CapitalOne visa ad” and even smiled during meditation. Peeked through my eye.. to see, if anyone is watching me.

  3. BrainWaves

    November 21, 2005 at 10:30 pm

    Very funny without trying too hard.

    I think in Tamil and translate sentences into english as I speak.

    Most of my friends who think in English do so mainly because of their initial education (grade 1-10 may be).

    On and off, I wondered about Mathameticans and Musicians. Unless you are one of them it is tough to understand how they will think. Theortical physicsts or physicst you think in 4+ dimensions fall in same category.

  4. IamwhatIam

    November 21, 2005 at 11:44 pm

    Regarding meditation, here is something that will make you feel good. My preceptor said that how ever experienced one gets with meditation stray thoughts will occur. We have to learn how to handle them. You seem to be doing the right thing. When I meditate my only goal is to sit in one place without talking for 30 mts. I have the same pattern as you have. In the beginning I can control my thoughts well. Then suddenly it occurs to me that I have been thinking about something for the past 10 mts! The transition happens so smoothly that I cannot phantom when it occurred.

    Some of my colleagues ask me in what language I think & this is what I tell them. If it is something related to work I think in English. If it is home/family related it is surely Tamil. I should say that though I know Hindi I never think in Hindi. This must be because I do not interact with anyone in Hindi. Another observation I made is my accent, be it Tamil or English. If I know someone is a brahmin I speak to them with pucca brahmin accent. My English accent varies between Americans and south Indians & North Indians. I guess we are constantly adapting to our surroundings to blend in.

  5. Mindframes

    November 22, 2005 at 12:28 am

    Interesting blog. I am not sure if I remember which language I communicate with, in my dreams.Usually, I am the hero and everybody praise. I limit myself to actions and adventures where there is no speech involved..:)…

    My thoughts…Hmmm… Though I am not able to characterize the partition exactly, I am very sure that it must be a combination of tamil and english. I too think my english fluency gets much better when I get pissed off…:)… not necessarily the other way around…

    I havent done any meditation. But, I can sit and think about a specific problem for long periods of time without getting too distracted. It is very difficult for me to even visualise not thinking about anything for long periods of time…Good job survivor !


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