Observing the Mind
When we sit in meditation, one of our main goals is to still the mind in order to observe it. We can achieve this by becoming aware of our thoughts as they enter, allowing them to exist upon our minds, and observing their passing, all without trying to control or change them.
This awareness allows us to engage with our emotions and reactions in a different, and often healthier, way. It helps us assess if we are behaving rationally or irrationally toward a situation and affords us the opportunity to create breathable space between our minds and what’s on them.
One of the beautiful aspects of mindfulness in meditation is that we are all born with the capacity to be self-aware. Perhaps we busy ourselves too much or distract ourselves with entertainment, but by finding the time to meditate, we can change the attention of our mind from outward and consuming to inward and repairing.
A few topics to consider when exploring our minds can include:
· How do our minds behave when we sit in silence? What thoughts arise and how often?
· What influences the decisions we make? Have we adopted a personality from our community? Are we acting as our true selves?
· What emotions are most prevalent? Are we effectively handling these emotions or do they influence other events?
Additionally, we can become aware of physical cues like fidgeting and stiffness to indicate that our minds may not be the tranquil pond we’d like them to be. No worries though; in this stage of development, a patient and accepting awareness is all we need to strive for.