Today’s concentration practice was an interesting one for me.
Actively identifying each thought and feeling that pulled me away from my breath as “not the breath” was a new practice for me. It took me a few minutes of practice to even recognize how often my attention was drawn away from the breath by either thoughts, sensations or feelings. Often times it was not until my concentration drifted back to my breath that I even noticed that it had been drawn away by fleeting “not the breath” distractions.
By defining and categorizing all thoughts other than the breath as “not the breath” my mind was better protected from being carried away by my thoughts. However, at times it felt harsh and it was difficult for me to bring the same softness to my practice that I am accustomed to.
I look forward to playing with this practice. I think it will be especially useful on days that my mind is prone to wandering off to “not the breath”.