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.


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.




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,

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

Wow    Feb 6, 2012

What a terrific way to look at Sharon's teachings about starting over! The idea...

Perfect    Feb 6, 2012

Thank you so much. I'm touched by your kindness and insights. And last night,...

Yes    Feb 5, 2012

Absolutely Katie, I will send your friend Rachel lovingkindness. 


Thank you    Feb 4, 2012

Thank you so much, Em. That was so generous for you to share. I know I shouldn't...

Thank you    Feb 4, 2012

Yoga will always be there. It will be meet me where I am, whenever I am ready.


Cooking Class    Feb 3, 2012

I love this! Thank you so much for taking us along with you on your meditation today....

Thank you!    Feb 3, 2012

Thanks so much for this imagery. Sometimes I carry a gigantic log around with me! It...

Thank you    Feb 1, 2012

I love the idea of how huge we can be. Like Alice in Wonderland, we can swallow pills...

Marathon    Feb 1, 2012

Thank you for the marathon analogy. I used to want to be a sprinter my whole life. Now...

Quiet Car    Feb 1, 2012

I love the quiet car imagery. Thank you. Great metaphor for my brain while I'm...