This is an ongoing series running through May to compliment the twice weekly meditation sessions that I will be hosting on YouTube (the videos have now been moved to my Vimeo page). If you have any questions, please contact me.
Whatever the object of meditation, for example the breath, on trying to focus on that object you will find yourself distracted by your mind. Sometimes more distractions than other, but still you will be distracted. The distractions can be many things, but for me might look like,
- thinking of the next meal,
- something that happened just before I came to sit,
- planning a meeting for tomorrow,
- a book that I have read,
- some memory from the past,
- a noise outside and the story that I create around it,
- an emotional reaction to someone moving around in another room.
I’m sure that you get the picture. My mind just thinking, being distracted and reacting.
As I have chosen to sit with an object of meditation, when I am distracted I find that that sometimes emotions such as annoyance or anger arise. I am getting annoyed or frustrated with myself that I have lost focus of the object of meditation. I find it can easily happen when I fall into the trap of setting myself standards to meet.
Instead of allowing annoyance to enter your mind, allow yourself to simply note that you have been distracted. Allow there to be no judgement, but a simple acceptance that in that moment you have lost the object of meditation, and with that acceptance return to the breath. However often you are drawn away from the breath, note it, accept it, and gently return to the breath.
In noting and accepting I am applying the ultimate non-violence to myself. I am simply accepting what is and returning to the object of meditation, free of judgement. I might not like what is in my mind, I might not like that I have lost awareness of the breath, but I am training myself to not act out against it - the daily life equivalent being getting lost in addictive or time waisting habits in order to try and blank out what has arisen in the mind.