Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What to do with the monkey mind...

"I do like to play" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
Continuing with Martin Boroson's ideas on the one minute meditation (see previous blog post), the only instruction for our minds was to focus on our breathing.  We may be surprised at how little time our monkey minds need to really start jumping around. And then the harder we try to focus on our  breathing, the more it feels like work, and the more stressed we become. All in the flash of a minute.  Amazing.  So Boronson suggests it might be better to say, "Drop your mind into your breathing," "Relax your mind into your breathing" or "Allow your mind to settle into your breathing." If any one of these instructions works for us we should definitely use them.

And then there's the typical monkey mind activity during the minute meditation:
We are sitting still, focusing on our breath, maybe feeling a bit more peaceful than usual, when a thought pops into our awareness—"What's for dinner!" At first, we don't really realize that this thought has popped into our minds because we are actually thinking the thought. In fact, we can very quickly move on to wondering what needs to go on our shopping list and maybe some thoughts about processed food, and from there to Monsanto and GMO's. Then, suddenly we realize that we have been lost in thought about dinner and Monsanto and had forgotten completely about our breath. We wake up to our selves and our process. So we bring our mind back to the breathing and stay focused there—until some other thought or feeling takes us far away again. And then we wake up again. No worries, it's all good practice for waking up to our selves, waking up in our lives.

Just keep gently returning our minds to our breathing, where we can find the relaxation we crave.

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