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Mindful : December 2017
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY One of the early experiences in meditation tends to be noticing a torrent of thoughts, a waterfall of this, that, and the other thing tumbling through your mind. It’s easy to think your job is to manage it all. That’s where the body comes in handy. You’re breathing, you have senses, your body is always touching some surface somewhere. These sensations help you notice that you are where you are. BE KIND TO YOURSELF For whatever reason, most of us tend to rip into ourselves when we get some time alone with our thoughts: Why didn’t I? Why don’t I? What’s the matter with me? Meditation puts you in touch with this undercurrent of self-blame and gives you a chance to come back to your breath and to where you are. Notice the subtle sensations in your body that these thoughts can create. At that moment, you can cut yourself a break for being a human being. DON’T TRY TOO HARD Since meditation includes instructions to follow, how- ever simple, it’s easy to try so hard to do it “right” that you just give up. Yet it’s the positive experiences—like noticing some peace of mind has quietly crept in—that really keep you going. Just let them happen. Surprise! NO BIG DEAL One of the most enjoyable aspects of starting to practice meditation is that in those moments when we finally stop trying to be good at it, we get a chance to laugh at ourselves over how hard we try to just be here. Just put one foot in front of the other. “Looking down the road thinking you’re going to get some- where often causes suffering. When we see that our search for excitement actually doesn’t feel so good—we’re constricted and con- tracted, rather than open to what’s next—we may stop striving for that excitement.” JUDSON BREWER December 2017 mindful 47