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Liking and Disliking

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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Liking and Disliking

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

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'm going to talk

about liking and disliking.

So when we're going about daily

life, the mind tends to constantly

categorize our experience into

good and bad, like and dislike.

Now, this is something that

happens mostly unconsciously.

For instance, we like one

coworker, we dislike another.

We like Friday afternoons, but

we dislike Monday mornings.

We like the drive to the beach,

but we dislike the drive to work.

We like the sound of the birds

in the morning, but not the

sound of our neighbor's dog.

Now, while it's natural for us, from

an evolutionary perspective, to like

some things like a warm, safe shelter

or sweet food and to dislike other

things like shivering from the cold.

Many things that we experience

in life are actually not

inherently unpleasant or pleasant.

We just experienced them that

way because of our own judgments.

So for example, whether you're driving

to the beach or you're driving to

work, your actual driving experience

could be pretty much the same, but

your view of it can totally change

your experience and your mood.

If you like it, you

experience it as pleasant.

And if you decide you don't

like the drive, it can become

kind of like a burdensome chore.

I once had a lady on retreat with

me who said that she hated porridge.

And the thing is that we were getting

served porridge every single morning.

So she found herself getting

really, really irritated.

But then she reported on

day four of the retreat.

She decided to try the

porridge without judgment.

And she said that she actually tasted

it in that moment for the first time

and she found it was actually quite

enjoyable when she let go of the judgment.

I've actually been joking about

this in retreats ever since.

In the same way this lady was becoming

irritated by her judgment that the

porridge was bad, we can make daily

life much more difficult than it

needs to be when we keep judging

things as bad or disliking them.

So as soon as we do that, I often say,

you know, we put crap colored lenses

on, the opposite of rose colored ones.

And we experience lots of things as

more unpleasant than they actually are.

So the invitation today is to

try seeing and experiencing

things without the judgments.

So this can be challenging, but just

aiming to be curious and open-minded to

what it might be like to experience what's

there beyond the judgments in the mind.

So as an experiment, try letting

go of judgment in moments where you

might normally find dislike arising.

A red light, a slow car, a loud noise,

a certain person, a long line - in

those moments, experiment with seeing

how it feels to let go of all of your

preferences and judgements altogether.

I think you'll find that when you

let go of those judgments, you

also let go of a lot of reactivity,

stress and suffering and make space

for more inner peace to emerge.

As always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here.

And let's settle in

for today's meditation.

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