A Meditation Liveblog (2)

Thoughts

I’ve spent most of my life judging my thoughts or having them judged. It’s all the more uncomfortable because much of my earlier life relied on retreating into my thoughts. To meditate on them however is fiendishly difficult because it requires being with them skilfully. Tonight was very helpful indeed in reinforcing the ‘observer’ role, needed to be able to observe thoughts without getting caught up in them. My thoughtscape might be interesting but decades of habit has left it feeling unsafe, with pitfalls of judgment and lack of awareness scattered around it!

I’m seeing the differences between associated thoughts (thinking), random thoughts you can get lost in, thoughts which operate from habit and how much of this is entirely detached from consciousness! Much of my practice this week was marred by getting involved with the thoughts by not keeping detached as the ‘observer’; not so tonight. Tonight I noticed a flash of impatience half way through the meditation, and it was funny! Noticing it as the ‘observer’ showed me it wasn’t something I was doing at all – how wonderfully absurd. Alistair smirked and called it a psychic burp, and it was a very liberating revelation.

Posted by ShoZu

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3 responses to “A Meditation Liveblog (2)

  1. Interesting. You mentioned that your flash of impatience was not something “I was doing”. We seem to have a tendency to identify only our conscious “observer” as “I”, and uncomfortable to identify with the unconscious and autonomic aspects of our being.

  2. Of course “I” was, you’re right, but the practice hinges on developing a technique of gaining distance, of oversight over your thoughts, thereby not having to throw yourself into every last one of them equally. Maintaining an admittedly artificial ‘observer’ really helps in training your big mind to step back and gain the space and oversight needed to choose exactly which thoughts to go with and which to discard!

    Being able to see automatic, or habitual thoughts or feelings like impatience, and not having to indulge in them is incredibly liberating. I’m not saying for a moment that it’s terribly effective for me right now, it hasn’t been these last few days (to my regret). But the more I practice the more times I find I’m catching thoughts I don’t like earlier, (often judgments on myself), and very slowly stepping back from them. Awareness is a powerful thing.

  3. I did start listening to an Eckhart Tolle audiobook a while ago which also promotes taking a step back (as an observer) from the maelstrom of thoughts and feelings – the “pain body”. Unfortunately focusing on Tolle’s spiritual teachings led to an unexpected relapse into Christian belief (which I’ve now recovered from!).

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