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The Mind Doesn’t Wander

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, we're going to talk about mind wandering. So I'm going to say something that might sound provocative, but your mind doesn't wander. That's right. Your mind doesn't wander.

It actually just moves toward what it finds more interesting. Okay, so, gotcha. I guess you could frame that as a wandering, but I like this reframe where it's not that the mind is wandering. It's just moving toward what it finds more interesting. And we see this in the neuroscience as well.

The mind tends to gravitate toward those things that, that it finds appealing, that it's curious about. And so if you're focusing on the breath and the mind goes someplace else, it's not necessarily that it's just drifting off in different places. It's just the things that it wants to think about or what it perceives or the sound it hears in the other room, it's just finding more interesting than the breath in this moment. So I think for me, when I hear that or when I think about it that way, it gives me a little bit more understanding for my wandering mind. Instead of getting caught up in self-judgment toward my wandering mind, I recognize it almost like a little kid that's like, Ooh, I wonder what this is or this is, or like a puppy that's just sniffing all these different scents.

It's like, I liked that, I like that, I like that. So how do we take this into our meditation practice? Well, one thing you can do is explore how can you create more interest in the thing that you're focusing on. So if it is something like the breath, what would it be like to bring more curiosity to that experience, to really get the mind interested in what is here? Maybe you pay really careful attention to that split second moment where it feels like the breath is beginning, all the way to the end of the breath and then that split second transition at the end of the inhale and the beginning of the exhale. Can you catch that moment where it switches over? And then we move all the way to the exhale transitions to the inhale. Simple things like that, that might not feel that significant can actually cause the mind to go, hmm.

Maybe there's a little bit here that I wasn't aware of before, that I wasn't paying enough attention to. And it kind of gamifies the meditation practice. Nearly any meditation tradition, any meditation practice, works with that in some way, helps to gamify the process of trying to note the experience, notice all the subtleties of the experience, really try to drop your attention into the experience in a way that it wasn't before, so that the mind does get more interested in what is here. And eventually, as the experience becomes more vivid and the mind becomes more, more grounded, it does become easier for the mind to sustain its attention because it sees, Whoa, there's a lot here that I wasn't aware of before. And it's really interesting to notice all of the subtleties in the sensations of the breath.

And it actually feels really good to not be wandering all over the place. So the mind organically stabilizes itself, but that's because it becomes more interested in the experience that's here. So instead of beating yourself for the, beating yourself up for the mind wandering, or even thinking like, Oh, my mind is wandering all over the place, recognize it as the mind, moving toward what it finds more interesting. And instead of trying to rip it back to the present moment, create a little bit more interest on the thing that you're trying to pay attention to. Hope this gives you something to think about in your meditation practice and in your life.

Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

The Mind Doesn’t Wander

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, we're going to talk about mind wandering. So I'm going to say something that might sound provocative, but your mind doesn't wander. That's right. Your mind doesn't wander.

It actually just moves toward what it finds more interesting. Okay, so, gotcha. I guess you could frame that as a wandering, but I like this reframe where it's not that the mind is wandering. It's just moving toward what it finds more interesting. And we see this in the neuroscience as well.

The mind tends to gravitate toward those things that, that it finds appealing, that it's curious about. And so if you're focusing on the breath and the mind goes someplace else, it's not necessarily that it's just drifting off in different places. It's just the things that it wants to think about or what it perceives or the sound it hears in the other room, it's just finding more interesting than the breath in this moment. So I think for me, when I hear that or when I think about it that way, it gives me a little bit more understanding for my wandering mind. Instead of getting caught up in self-judgment toward my wandering mind, I recognize it almost like a little kid that's like, Ooh, I wonder what this is or this is, or like a puppy that's just sniffing all these different scents.

It's like, I liked that, I like that, I like that. So how do we take this into our meditation practice? Well, one thing you can do is explore how can you create more interest in the thing that you're focusing on. So if it is something like the breath, what would it be like to bring more curiosity to that experience, to really get the mind interested in what is here? Maybe you pay really careful attention to that split second moment where it feels like the breath is beginning, all the way to the end of the breath and then that split second transition at the end of the inhale and the beginning of the exhale. Can you catch that moment where it switches over? And then we move all the way to the exhale transitions to the inhale. Simple things like that, that might not feel that significant can actually cause the mind to go, hmm.

Maybe there's a little bit here that I wasn't aware of before, that I wasn't paying enough attention to. And it kind of gamifies the meditation practice. Nearly any meditation tradition, any meditation practice, works with that in some way, helps to gamify the process of trying to note the experience, notice all the subtleties of the experience, really try to drop your attention into the experience in a way that it wasn't before, so that the mind does get more interested in what is here. And eventually, as the experience becomes more vivid and the mind becomes more, more grounded, it does become easier for the mind to sustain its attention because it sees, Whoa, there's a lot here that I wasn't aware of before. And it's really interesting to notice all of the subtleties in the sensations of the breath.

And it actually feels really good to not be wandering all over the place. So the mind organically stabilizes itself, but that's because it becomes more interested in the experience that's here. So instead of beating yourself for the, beating yourself up for the mind wandering, or even thinking like, Oh, my mind is wandering all over the place, recognize it as the mind, moving toward what it finds more interesting. And instead of trying to rip it back to the present moment, create a little bit more interest on the thing that you're trying to pay attention to. Hope this gives you something to think about in your meditation practice and in your life.

Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Duration

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