What Will I Think About?

People are often afraid of what their mind will do once they sit down to meditate.

"So many thoughts race around in my head!" they say. "How will I push them out?"

That's why I love Sharon's "Letting-Go-of-Thought" meditation. We don't have to push away the "bad" ideas that race around in our brains. All we have to do is recognize when something enters our mind that is not a breath.

I tried this meditation just before i drove into New York City this morning for a doctors' appointment, which would be followed by a lunch appointment, then a train down to Princeton for a dinner, then a speaking engagement, then a train home to Penn Station, then a subway to Grand Central, then a train home to Westchester. And a funeral the next morning.

So many thoughts were racing around in my brain when I sat down to meditate.

But none of them were a breath. And so I tried, for the very first time, to note those thoughts to myself simply as not breath, which made for a refreshing break from a busy day.

Here was the choice I was faced with this morning: What will I think about?

Will I think "Why am I driving into the city instead of taking a train -- I'll just have to drive right back and then take another one in -- are there parking lots near Penn Station -- could I drive myself home late at night -- should I have driven down to New Jersey instead -- why did I schedule so many speaking engagements -- what's wrong with me?"  

Or will I think "Breath," "Not breath."

The choice was easy.

Comments

Thanks for making it seem easy!

I just sat down to get some inspiration to sit for day 2--a very inexperienced meditator am I! I perused a few posts, but yours hit the spot. Breath. Not breath. I think I can do that.

That's a whole lot of traveling

but what a great opportunity to breathe.

 

Wonderful post.

 

Debra

DAY 2

Monkey Mind was present today, but breathing in and out was a comfort, and slowed everything -- breath, thoughts, dis-ease.

One suggestion: don't meditate right after breakfast!

I have felt conflicted about sitting in meditation right after getting up; it's so easy to get back into a nice warm bed, but first thing seems to be effective, and sets the tone of the day -- the first day of the rest of my life.

Cheers, Blessings and Belly Laughs,
eliSabeth

NJ Transit and racing

Priscilla, I remember taking NJ transit and watching my brain race around! It was so good that you were able to make that choice. Good luck. 

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Comments by this author

So lovely    Feb 21, 2012

Your father sounds wonderful. What a wonderful introduction he gave you to meditation...

Well put    Feb 20, 2012

Thank you for phrasing your observations about strong emotions being present in your...

Thank you!    Feb 20, 2012

Sometimes simply reading about meditation puts the mind in a great place. I also love...

Thank you!    Feb 19, 2012

What a terrific idea! Seriously, I am going to take your advice and start timing...

Yes!    Feb 19, 2012

I love this notion of your older self looking at your younger self, of past, present...

I can relate!    Feb 19, 2012

If I'd had Sharon whispering into my ears when my two sons were living at home,...

Phew    Feb 19, 2012

Thank you for this important reminder. Today's obsession is tomorrow's lesson...

Om    Feb 14, 2012

This is such beautiful writing! Thank you so much for taking us along with you on your...

Thanks!    Feb 14, 2012

I love this! And it just might inspire me to do some cartoons of my own thoughts....

Sending love    Feb 7, 2012

Thank you for posting links to these extraordinary women's blogs. I read Rachel...