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Working With Dark or Disturbing Thoughts

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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Working With Dark or Disturbing Thoughts

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, I'm going to talk about how we

can start to work more skillfully with

some of the more dark or disturbing

thoughts that come up in meditation.

And of course, this is really useful

because how we work with these

thoughts in meditation is also how

we can work with them in life too.

And meditation after all, really is like

a mental training ground, a practice

ground for the rest of our lives.

So when we've been meditating and

observing the mind for awhile, we

really begin to see how the mind

is really abundant in content.

It has lots of different kinds of thoughts

and images and impulses and emotions

coming and going in our experience.

Now, some kinds of thoughts, we probably

feel really comfortable with, you know.

We see them as an okay part of our

psyche, an okay part of ourselves.

Thoughts about pleasant, things,

pleasant emotions, for example.

You know, we might like and accept

them, even encourage them sometimes.

Sometimes we indulge in them.

Other thoughts, though, can make

us feel really uncomfortable.

We might be really shocked by the types

of thoughts arising in the mind and

think that there's something wrong with

us for having these kinds of thoughts.

But you know, as I often say,

what your crazy mind is doing, our

crazy minds are all doing as well.

So we might be surprised by

how, for instance, critical,

aggressive, judgemental,

insecure the mind is sometimes.

These thoughts might stir up emotions

like fear, anger, guilt, or shame,

that feeling of unworthiness.

And, you know, we may not want

to think of these thoughts as

part of us, part of our psyche.

So we resist them, we reject them,

or maybe we start to struggle with

them, or perhaps we even start to

beat ourselves up for being a bad

person or having bad thoughts.

But of course, as long as we're judging

ourselves, when we're experiencing

disturbing thoughts, we're simply actually

creating another layer of thinking on top

of the thoughts that are already there.

So we're getting caught up in

those disturbing thoughts, then

we're adding more storylines in the

mind, more noise and disturbance.

The reality is that, unpleasant

as it is, we do all have these

kinds of thoughts sometimes.

They're just part of the normal

conditioning of the human mind.

But just like it's normal for the

sky to sometimes have very dark

clouds passing through it, it doesn't

define the clarity, the expansiveness

and the stillness of the sky.

So your dark thoughts don't

touch, affect or define your

deeper nature as awareness itself.

So instead of judging yourself,

struggling with these kinds of

thoughts in any way, just see if you

can let go of all of that, let go of

everything that arises in the mind.

And just knowing that from the

perspective of mindfulness,

a thought, is just a thought.

It doesn't matter what

kind of thought it is.

Our task is simply to rest in our

sky-like awareness and witness

whatever arises in the mind.

So we let go of any idea of

how we think the mind should be

or how we think we should be.

And we simply witness things as they are.

In this way, we learn to become gradually

more and more non-reactive, resilient

and grounded in presence andinner peace.

So we're going to explore this

some more in today's meditation.

So I invite you to settle in now for that.

And as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

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