I recently posted a list things that we tend to identify with being a part of us that actually are not. One line of this post seemed to be the most difficult for people to accept:
“You are not your thoughts…”
I can understand why it may be hard to believe that such a statement is true. Each and every day we are accompanied by an incessant stream of thoughts; thoughts that entertain us, depress us and mostly distract us from what is actually going on in the present moment we are experiencing. Our thought stream can seem so ubiquitous, so pervasive, all seeming to bubble up from the very core of our being that it may be difficult to believe that this is indeed not us!
The confusion arises as we allow ourselves to become consumed by the endless procession of thoughts our mind creates. We become so caught up in this thought stream that it becomes difficult to see where our thoughts end and our actual self begins…
Thankfully, there is a quick remedy to this problem, a sure way to disentangle yourself from your thoughts and again become grounded in who you really are.
Sit or lie quietly in a peaceful area where you are not likely to be disturbed.
Take three long, slow deep breaths, and allow your body and mind to relax.
Continue to breathe slowly and evenly and allow your attention to come to rest where your thoughts seem to rise up in your head.
Sit back and observe what thoughts arise. Do not judge these thoughts. Do not attach to these thoughts. Maintain a soft, gentle attention and watch these thoughts appear and disappear.
You may find that you inadvertently become absorbed by a particular thought. You may start thinking about various scenarios, problems or fantasies related to the thought. This is perfectly fine. When you notice you have done this, gently release your attention from this and let go, again observing any rising and falling thoughts from a distance.
Continue this exercise for as long as you like.
The process I have outlined is a basic exercise in mindfulness meditation. The key point you will realize through the experience of this exercise is that your thoughts appear and disappear independently of the ‘you’ that is observing them! Your thoughts only take on any relevance to who you are when you give them your attention!
This exercise I have outlined is incredibly powerful, and you will gain so much through its continued application. My post will give you an intellectual understanding of this, but only through your own experience can you truly realize the profound truths contained.
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and experiences on this practice or any other experiences you have had with mindfulness…
For further guidance, download my free meditation eBook – “Follow Your Breath to Bliss: A 30 Day Path to A Meditation Practice” by clicking this link.