What's on my to-do list this morning? Did I send that email? Don't forget to sign up for tomorrow's yoga class after this. Did I shut the garage door? I need to find a recipe for dinner tonight. How long have I been sitting here?
The first three days of this challenge, we briefly touched on the fact that it's very common and normal for our minds to be running and racing in a million different directions while we're meditating...and that's okay. The questions and statements above are just a few of the things that crossed my mind during my meditation practice yesterday.
In today's lesson, we learned all about how to deal with thoughts that come up during meditation.
"A thought is an impulse of energy or information. It could be a desire, an analysis, a memory, an idea, an interpretation of a feeling, sensation or emotion, or sounds such as songs or noises."
During meditation, we're experiencing what's called "non-directive thinking" or to put it a different way, we are allowing our minds to wander or drift from one thought to another on purpose. Remember our first meditation session when we were imagining walking through the center of a foreign city and noticing all of the noises and scenery? In today's session, we're working toward expecting that our mind is going to be busy -- the mind drifting around when we're still is a sign of the mind calming down or resting. Seems kind of backwards, I know...but don't dismiss it just yet!
In our five minute meditation today, instead of running away from or trying to avoid or dismiss all of the thoughts flashing through our mind, Light encouraged us to welcome and embrace all of the thoughts and to practice letting our minds think about whatever it thinks about during that time, and, as always, without judgment or expectation.
The biggest takeaway I experienced from this session: knowing that thoughts were going to come in and out during the five minutes I sat there, but also knowing that I didn't care why the came in and why they left. I just simply noticed their existence and then acknowledged their departure as they drifted past the corner of my eye. It's incredibly liberating knowing that we don't have to be tied to any one thought that passes through and having the power to acknowledge and let go is wonderful.