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Don’t Stop Your Thoughts

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, I'm going to offer a simple reminder for how we mindfully work with thoughts in our meditation practice and in our life. A story that comes to mind that I like to preface this with is from my time meditating in Burma. It was a six and a half month silent meditation retreat and all day long, 14 to 18 hours a day, our only job was just to meditate. And I had a good sense of the practice going into that retreat and what I was supposed to do.

And I knew that meditation wasn't about clearing the mind of thoughts. But I think I still had this subconscious association that a clear mind was going to be a peaceful mind. And the fewer thoughts I had the better my practice would be. I don't know where that came from, but it seemed to be really deeply ingrained in my practice. And I remember three months into that retreat.

I just had this period of time where my mind was all over the place. Just thinking about everything I was going to do after the retreat, all the good foods I wanted to eat. All the, remember I'm really into golf. So just having all these fantasies of like wanting to play golf again. It's just a very active mind and, and it made me feel like, wow, the practice isn't going well.

So I went and talked to my teacher. And I, I told him, I said, listen, like I've, I've been here for several months. And now every time I sit down and I meditate, I'm working really hard, but my mind is all over the place. I can't stop it from thinking. And he sat back, he smiled and he just said, very simply, Cory, your job is not to stop your thoughts.

Your job is simply to know when your mind is thinking. And there was something in that that just relaxed me tremendously. It, it was something I knew, but I needed that reminder. There was still this sense of my practice, that, that if a lot of thoughts were there, something must be wrong with my mind. And that simple invitation of you don't need to stop your thoughts.

Your job is simply to know when your mind is thinking. It was like, well, yeah, I could, I could definitely do that. Oh, there's a thought. There's a thought. And so I just want to offer that as a reminder for you on your journey.

You may already know because we talk about it a lot here at Mindfulness.com, that the practice is not about clearing your mind, getting to a blank mind. But still we, we can use that reminder. And when you notice thoughts come up in your practice, what would it be like just to make the very practice to know that my mind is thinking right now. That moment of knowing there's a thought, there's an idea, there's a story, that is the practice of mindfulness. That is the awareness that we're cultivating.

And the more we do that, the less we're caught in our thoughts. We're able to hold them and relate to them rather than being sucked into them. That's what we're developing. It may be the case that the mind slows down there will be fewer thoughts over time. For sure.

But the mind will continue to think, and we want it to continue to think. Our practice here is just to simply know when the mind is thinking. Hope this helps on your journey. Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.9

Don’t Stop Your Thoughts

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, I'm going to offer a simple reminder for how we mindfully work with thoughts in our meditation practice and in our life. A story that comes to mind that I like to preface this with is from my time meditating in Burma. It was a six and a half month silent meditation retreat and all day long, 14 to 18 hours a day, our only job was just to meditate. And I had a good sense of the practice going into that retreat and what I was supposed to do.

And I knew that meditation wasn't about clearing the mind of thoughts. But I think I still had this subconscious association that a clear mind was going to be a peaceful mind. And the fewer thoughts I had the better my practice would be. I don't know where that came from, but it seemed to be really deeply ingrained in my practice. And I remember three months into that retreat.

I just had this period of time where my mind was all over the place. Just thinking about everything I was going to do after the retreat, all the good foods I wanted to eat. All the, remember I'm really into golf. So just having all these fantasies of like wanting to play golf again. It's just a very active mind and, and it made me feel like, wow, the practice isn't going well.

So I went and talked to my teacher. And I, I told him, I said, listen, like I've, I've been here for several months. And now every time I sit down and I meditate, I'm working really hard, but my mind is all over the place. I can't stop it from thinking. And he sat back, he smiled and he just said, very simply, Cory, your job is not to stop your thoughts.

Your job is simply to know when your mind is thinking. And there was something in that that just relaxed me tremendously. It, it was something I knew, but I needed that reminder. There was still this sense of my practice, that, that if a lot of thoughts were there, something must be wrong with my mind. And that simple invitation of you don't need to stop your thoughts.

Your job is simply to know when your mind is thinking. It was like, well, yeah, I could, I could definitely do that. Oh, there's a thought. There's a thought. And so I just want to offer that as a reminder for you on your journey.

You may already know because we talk about it a lot here at Mindfulness.com, that the practice is not about clearing your mind, getting to a blank mind. But still we, we can use that reminder. And when you notice thoughts come up in your practice, what would it be like just to make the very practice to know that my mind is thinking right now. That moment of knowing there's a thought, there's an idea, there's a story, that is the practice of mindfulness. That is the awareness that we're cultivating.

And the more we do that, the less we're caught in our thoughts. We're able to hold them and relate to them rather than being sucked into them. That's what we're developing. It may be the case that the mind slows down there will be fewer thoughts over time. For sure.

But the mind will continue to think, and we want it to continue to think. Our practice here is just to simply know when the mind is thinking. Hope this helps on your journey. Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.9

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