Just noticing

Responding and reacting

As we sit to meditate, we may notice the desire to change things, to react in a certain way. Perhaps we notice a loud whirring noise and want to look out the window to see what’s making such a ruckus. Perhaps we notice a stiff neck and want to move our head to a different and maybe more comfortable position. Perhaps we notice a brilliant idea and want to write it down before we forget it. We practice letting things be. The sound outside is just a sound, we can notice. The crick in our neck is just a sensation, the thought, just a thought.

All phenomena … resemble an illusion, mirage, dream, or reflected image, a celestial city, an echo,
a reflection of the moon in water, a bubble, an optical illusion, or an intangible emanation.
-The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Preliminary Practice

3-minute breathing space (adapted from Libby Robinson)

Step 1. Orient yourself to yourself. Become aware of bodily sensations and thoughts. Just notice them, saying to yourself “OK, that’s how it is right now.”

Step 2. Focus your attention on the breath. Use the anchor of the breath to be really present

Step 3. Expand your awareness. Notice the breath, the body as a whole, and sensations from outside. Exploring a light, spacious awareness.

 

Week’s practices

  1. Notice a routine activity.
  2. Practice a meditation each day. Aim for 20 minutes. Practice mindfulness of noting at least twice.
  3. Notice when your attitudinal foundation arises on its own and try cultivating it.
  4. Try the 3-minute breathing space at set times each day, maybe right when you get to work, or when you first wake up in the morning. Using at these calmer times can help you have this technique available to you in more stressful moments.

Resources

http://franticworld.com/ – the website that accompanies a nice book. Recorded meditations available.

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