This week on 12 Minute Meditation, Mindful’s founding editor Barry Boyce leads a “touch and go” practice. We’re not trying to deal with the issues in our thoughts or with difficult emotions that might arise. There’s nothing to solve. There’s nothing to change. Instead, we’re spending time with our mind and over time, our thoughts can become more transparent and have less power over us because we’re fighting with them less.
A 12-Minute Meditation for Observing Thoughts with Barry Boyce
A 12-Minute Meditation for Observing Thoughts
- Feel your feet on the floor. Sit in an upright, but not stiff, posture withyour spine naturally erect like a stack of Oreo cookies.
- Your eyes may be opened or closed, with your chin slightly down in a gesture of humbleness. Rest your hands naturally on the top of your thighs.
- Now, just pay attention to your breath as it goes in and out. In and out.
- Notice your body. If you’ve tensed your shoulders or you’re holding tension, drop that tension. Feel the sensations of being in the room. Notice your breath as it goes in and out, in and out.
- As thoughts arise, just touch them. You can even say, “thinking,” and come back to the breath. You’re not making snap judgments about those thoughts, I shouldn’t think that, or I should, or I want to, or etc.
- Whatever snap judgment you make, just short circuit that by touching it and coming back to the breath and the body. Thoughts are not the problem, they’re not the enemy. They’re a natural outgrowth of being alive. We can be very gentle with them. We can just very lightly touch them and let them go.
- If they come back again, simply recognize them, touch it again, and let it go again. Don’t worry about its persistence. It will tire out after a while. We’re not reacting or overreacting. We’re just letting it be. And as we do that, because we’re not fighting, a little bit of rest naturally comes along. It’s a byproduct. We don’t have to try to rest or try to be calm. Just touching and letting go allows a natural kind of rest to overtake us.
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