Tom
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on meditation ⬇️
After meditating for a while, there a few things about it that I really like and hope to describe in some way that is less "spiritual" which I think puts some people off.
focusing on your body ⬇️
Firstly, noticing how you feel in your body is very grounding, it helps you to feel, it helps you to place your mind and centre back in your physical location. It’s quite relaxing to notice where you are, think simply about your surroundings and feel that you are somewhere right now, existing in a place in a moment with some things around you. It’s just that. You are here right now and you are going to think about some things.
noticing our ideas ⬇️
Secondly, we rarely notice our ideas, we just have them and exist in them without noticing we’re having them. If we identify really strongly with our ideas as belonging to us and forming our identity then we get into a tricky situation where we are trying to resist our own thought process when we don’t like our own thoughts. Meditation allows us to change this process. By noticing ourselves having thoughts we become better at seeing the process for what it is - our brain wants to think things, it’s pretty good at connecting random dots to produce ideas, but not very good at telling itself what it’s just done, and just like moving your arm doesn’t tell you how it works, your brain doesn’t tell you how it works either - meditation is how we come to see the mind at work.
Some quotes from headspace
relaxing our mind ⬇️
Thirdly, this idea of washing your mind or doing something that actively relaxes it. Our mind is a bit like a machine and every now then it can do with a clean. Focusing our mind on something really simple, that requires all of its attention but is a really simple task is very relaxing. We might get this from menial tasks sometimes - like doing some basic drumming or tapping, or maybe from listening to music, our mind kind of switches off or goes into this flow state where it’s preoccupied doing something but it’s not stressful, it’s easy enough to just kind of go into autopilot but it’s hard enough that you can’t think about other things at the same time - this is often the feeling I get when I meditate. But it’s a bit more than just a distraction, we are actually feeling out the very mechanism by which we are having thoughts themselves, watching them arise and drift away.
Some quotes from headspace
being conscious ⬇️
Fourth, we are rarely conscious during the day. As we grow up we get awfully good with our muscle memory and can really sleepwalk through our day, week, entire life. When a challenge arises we can open up and rise to it and meet it, but typically it’s much easier to put up resistance and get angry or frustrated and let the idea of the challenge itself become bigger than it is. By meditating we train the conscious part of the mind, we train ourselves to find it easier to tap into our consciousness, to really open up to what we are feeling right now and facing in front of us, we put ourselves out there a bit more. We are alive, we are awake, we are vulnerable and we aren’t perfect but we can try and apply ourselves and that’s all we can ask from ourselves.
Some quotes from headspace
acceptance ⬇️
Five, once we become comfortable with thoughts coming and going, we become less judgemental of ourselves and start to connect the thoughts we are having with feelings that we have and circumstances that we are in. There’s not necessarily any need to control those feelings or analyse why they are there- most of the time they’re just feelings and they also come and go, likewise circumstances change. We start to give ourselves more time and space to just see how things go for a while, tuning into how we feel and what we’re thinking but not worrying too much about where life takes us because we’re comfortable with the thoughts that arise. We get a bit better at dealing with shit because it doesn’t pin us down, it washes over us- we don’t ignore it or treat it superficially, we process it, feel it, see it come and go and know that it’s something that’s happening to us and not something done by us.
Some quotes from headspace