How many times when we’re feeling a bit “off” does someone ask, “What’s wrong?”. What about instead we ask “What’s good?” and working on noticing what's right?
Is it possible for us to begin to notice the actual experiences we're having instead of our thoughts about the experiences?
Notice the experience, not our thoughts about the experience.
Every day, our brains process about 70,000 thoughts per day. Many of my students think meditation is about not thinking. They believe that if they are sitting in meditation and thinking one of the thousands of thoughts that invade their minds at any given moment during meditation that somehow they “can’t meditate.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Meditation is not about not thinking.
It is impossible not to think.
Meditation is about noticing that you are thinking.
It is about noticing that you’ve become lost in one of those 70,000 thoughts.
The reason we use an anchor in meditation like our breath or mantra is to train ourselves to notice that we’ve been captivated, sometimes even yanked, off into what I call “thoughtville.” When we get stuck here, noticing what's right becomes harder.
It’s when we get taken over by our thoughts that we lose the present moment entirely.
Meditation is simply a practice of noticing when we’ve left the present moment and training ourselves to return to the present moment over and over and over again. Through this, we are more easily able to ask ourselves, "What's right?"
This is what I mean by practicing noticing, as opposed to getting caught up and thinking about your experiences.
Ultimately in meditation what we are really doing is building our “noticing muscles.”
With practice, noticing what's right will become easier, instead of wondering what’s wrong in our lives and in the world.
Sure, that’s a pretty simplistic way of describing the full, embodied practice of meditation overall, but it’s an awesome place to start!