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by Adam Dacey
Many of the mindful meditations that are offered in our eight week mindful beginners course are simple to understand and appreciate, the explanations are straightforward and direct, delivered in everyday language, free from jargon.
The just sitting practice which has been explored in the article – The Best Meditation Practice for a Busy Mind – entails us just sitting and observing what is happening. In some respect, not-doing.
In the mindful breathing training, we try to simply abide with the sensation of the breathing, following the process as it enters and leaves our body.
The challenge comes in trying to step back and not believe the complex thoughts that arise in our mind. These conceptions are often related to our meditation ability. Judging our practice and progress.
Believing any preconceptions that we may have about meditation practice can lead to worry.
Our stressed and anxious thoughts can convince us that we need to do more than simply follow the instructions or that we are not suited to the training.
Or we may recall previous meditation instructions learned, which offer a slightly different explanation – thus creating confusion in our mind.
Our mind is like water in a lake, the base of the lake is muddied, the appearance is clear if the water is not disturbed.
If the water is disturbed by the movement of over thinking or applying too much effort to gain experience, then the water of our mind is no longer clear.
Less is often more and this applies to mindful meditation.
As Yoda stated; ‘You must unlearn, what you have learned.’
Letting go of any thoughts that we may have about our practice and allowing the simplicity of the training to influence us.
The key to making progress and experiencing first-hand, all the well documented benefits of meditation practice, is being able to establish a habit over time, which will start to influence our way of thinking and redirect our mind.
We begin to settle into the simplicity of the practice. The noise in our head regarding the practice is not pushed to one side, it naturally pacifies as we sit.
One comment that is often made about meditation, especially from beginners, is ‘I am finding it hard.’
With an understanding of our mind, we can appreciate that this is just a thought passing, we can believe it or let it pass.
The same can be said for a mind that thinks ‘this is boring.’
It is just a state of mind, we can believe it and follow the thought or let it pass.
The ability to let the thought pass comes with being able to step back in our practice.
Our mind is continually making discrimination about our self and the world around us, these can often lead to judgements.
Mindfulness is a non-judgemental awareness.
We are training in being able to develop this ability.
It is natural to have thoughts arising in our practice saying, ‘I am not doing this correctly’, or ‘I am not good at this.’ We can learn to let them pass.
The instructions are simple, the practice becomes easy with familiarity.
Familiarity arises overtime.
With mindful meditation, the key is being able to patiently dwell in the moment and let whatever judgements and commentary pass, the mud in our mind settles and with patience, the clear-water of our mind will arise naturally.
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