Day 15 of 30: Billboard
As input into your practice, let’s pause to consider a provocative thought experiment:
New technologies are being made available all the time. Consider that a new communications technology has been released. It’s a billboard that you wear on your forehead!
The billboard is capable of reading your thoughts as they arise and broadcasting them for everyone to see. It has the capabilities to display text, images, video, sounds, etc. Everything that arises in your mind, as it arises without delay, is simultaneously broadcast for everyone within viewing distance to see. No filters.
Imagine wearing this device:
- You’re meeting someone new and immediately they can see all your evaluations and associations arising about them. For example, “That’s an odd outfit to wear to this event.”
- You’re meeting up with an old friend and your thoughts about what they are sharing are displayed instantaneously & without any filters. For example, “Just like I remember, you don’t listen to me.”
- You’re sitting with a family member and they see flash across the screen something like “I am so tired of listening to this same old story.”
How would that be? How would it be for you? How would it be for the other? Maybe lots of explanations – “that’s not what I meant” and “I don’t really think that.” (But you just did!)
Sometimes it would be the case that the thoughts would carry some truth as in “yes, I really do wish you would stop talking right now”, but they would not convey the sentiments of kindness & compassion that you would wish to offer too.
But most of the time the thoughts arise without any consideration or weight as to how consistent they are with your values & views.
- Do you notice this exploration shift your perspective at all?
- From where do thoughts arise? Are they “your thoughts”? If so, which ones are yours and why?
- How do you explain the wild assemblage of what arises that is inconsistent with what you feel & believe?
- If the thoughts are not “yours” and don’t inherently have a weight of “substance”, then why do they arise to your experience? What purpose would they serve?
For today, the proposal is the same as previous days: Calm focus meditation until you notice a deepening concentration, and then direct your awareness to watch your mind for the remainder of your time. As each thought arises, say hello to it, welcome it, and then let it go. After letting it go, return your awareness to your felt sense of breathing for a few breaths before returning your attention to your mind again. As you meditate today, an invitation for you to consider is to notice whether or not your relationship to your thoughts has shifted at all. If so, how? If you’d like, please share your experiences in the comments on this page as a way to support each other’s journey and to co-create our virtual community.
Please share what you notice and any other observations in the comments below so everyone can benefit from your experiences. Please raise awareness of this content by sharing it using the social media icons adjacent to it. Please reach out to me if I can support you.
See you tomorrow!
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