It’s a quiet morning.
The sounds of spring birds and a gentle breeze drift in through an open window as the sun peaks out from behind the trees, filling the room with a warm light.
With your eyes closed, you sit observing.
A calming breath in.
A momentary pause.
A smiling breath out.
Another short space.
Then it happens.
You’re a million miles away, following thoughts from one place to the next.
Exactly when you got swept up is hard to say, but here you are.
Perhaps its been only a few moments, or perhaps many minutes.
You’re lost in thought.
At this moment though, you realize it.
So, what do you do?
What do you do when the thoughts arise, and you’re swept away?
A number options stand before you.
You can get upset at having lost focus on the breath.
Or, you can keep following thoughts, and drift further away from the moment you’re in.
Do these options do you much good though?
…particularly when you’re working to cultivate greater mindfulness, happiness, and presence in the moment.
Among the options another two are present before you.
You can simply let go of the thoughts and return to the breath.
This option is great, it takes you back to your focus and returns you to a more mindful state.
Ultimately, this is an excellent approach, particularly when you are well-practiced in meditation and mindfulness.
What about when you are starting out though?
This is where the second option comes in.
Particularly at an early stage in your training it can be easy to feel discouraged by all of the thoughts that arise, and by how easy it is to get caught up in them.
To say the least, it can be frustrating.
Worse it can lead you to stop meditating, or to begin feeling some stress and anxiety around the whole idea.
So, to keep the practice fun, enjoyable, and something you look forward to doing — and to get the most out of your mindfulness meditation practice — view your recognition of thoughts as a good thing.
More so, when you’re meditating, celebrate when you discover that you’ve been thinking.
Each time you discover you’ve been thinking, each time you notice a thought is occurring, you’ve had a moment of greater awareness.
You’ve recognized thoughts for what they are, simply thoughts.
Your recognition of these thoughts means your awareness is increasing, and your presence in the moment is becoming stronger.
That’s why celebrating when you observer yourself thinking is worth doing,. It’s also why the celebration isn’t just an act of false positivity, you really do have something to celebrate, because it means you’re more aware in that moment.
Once you’ve recognized your thoughts as being thoughts, and celebrated that recognition, let go and return to the focus of your meditation so as not to get lost in the act of celebrating.
Actions to take:
- Celebrate the awakening of awareness, and let go.
Fellow Journeyer @ BigSkyRise
If you think there is anyone who might enjoy or benefit from this mini-post, please consider sharing it.