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Mindful : December 2015
Is there a wrong way to meditate? A right way to meditate? People think they’re messing up when they’re meditating because of how busy the mind is. We get caught in the trap of thinking that meditation is supposed to be giving us a whole new magical device, like they sell on late night television: “Get NewBrain. It’s does all the think- ing for you, except better!” But, nope, it’s just the good ol’ human nervous system and brain. So, when we find that meditation acquaints us further with our same old brain and its same old ways, we’re convinced we must be doing it wrong. We want that shiny new thing. Getting lost in thought, noticing it, and returning to your chosen meditation object— breath, sound, body sensation, or something else—is how it’s done. That’s about it. If you’re doing that, you’re doing it right! Yes. There are g uidelines/instructions. Much like learning anything new. There are numerous meditation techniques. Each will have their own nuances and guidelines. What all mindfulness techniques share, though, is use of an anchor or support for the wandering mind. When you wake up from the trance of thought, you have choice. You can continue to nurse the current storyline (Days of Our Lives, The Edge of Night, The Young and the Restless, The Old and the Restless, whatever daytime melodrama you choose), or you can let it move on, and begin again. The instruction is to begin again, and again, and again. Watch the mind’s tendency to try to milk a thought for all it’s worth, to cling to it for dear life. Especially if it is enjoyable! If it’s not enjoyable, maybe you’ll be watching a mental gymnastics match, as the mind twists and turns and tries to shapeshift. When the drama has played out—20 seconds or 20 minutes later—the beauty is you can go right back to your breath (or whatever anchor you’re using), and you’ve done nothing wrong. → 1 December 2015 mindful 51