Day 10 of 30: Commentary
Today in your practice, play…
Play with noticing the difference between direct experience and your thoughts about the experiences.
Your awareness resting on the sensations of the rising/falling of your belly is being with experience. When you do so, you are connected with what’s actually happening now.
In today’s practice, my invitation to you is to take special notice of how often you get distracted and how much of the time the distraction is a thought. As each thought arises and you notice it, silently label it as the type of thought that it is: memory, imagining, judgment, speculation, planning, etc. Then let it go.
- “I am bored.”
- “My stomach feels weird this morning.”
- “I am so bad at this.”
- “I wonder how much longer before the timer goes off. I hope it’s soon so I can _____.”
- “I forgot to bake cookies for my son’s class this morning. I’ll need to stop at the store to buy some.”
- “I still feel angry about that phone conversation with my sister yesterday?”
… and on and on …
After your meditation today, the invitation is to reflect on what’s the difference between attending to what’s happening and how it feels compared to following your commentary about your experiences?
From this experiment, roughly estimate how much of your time do you spend in your commentary? How might this disposition serve you? How might this disposition not serve you?
Please don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up. It is quite comment that we are trained to be very good at thinking. In many cultures today, caregivers and educators of young people place an emphasis on figuring things out, having a plan, evaluating & categorizing, and labeling & language skills for describing experience. It is much less common in my experience for caregivers & educators to guide young people to focus on their experience. And we get good at what we practice.
The good news is that, if we choose to and with sufficient time & skillful practice, we can change.
There is a story in the buddhist canon that one teaching that the Buddha delivered included no words. As he stood in front of his students, he simply held up a flower. In that story, it is reported that one of the monks in attendance smiled and experienced an awakening. What do you think the Buddha was trying to communicate in this teaching? If it resonates with you, comment below to share your experiences or contact me.
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See you tomorrow!
Periodically it will be helpful to turn to a reminder of why are you choosing to invest in meditation. Here is a partial list of benefits…