Thursday, June 28, 2007

Awareness meditation

Recent studies with brain scans have indicated that if we simply name our mind states they have less power over us. Here are instructions for an awareness meditation that enable us to do just that:
• Relax and focus on any meditation object.
• Make good contact with it. It is the seat from which you watch the stream.
• Every few seconds, name the most obvious thing in the mind, whether it is important or not: "sore knee ... hungry ... TV ... money ... traffic...."
• Don't lose contact with your basic meditation object. Spend at least half the time with it, and check that you're actually relaxing. In fact, go as deep into the object as you can without ignoring the peripheral thoughts and sensations.
• Notice how the scenery changes the deeper you relax.
• Notice that when you wait for thoughts, they often don't come!
• Enjoy the bland, impersonal quality of the clear mind.
By "bland" I don't think the writer means boring or unimportant but rather non-agitating and a state that does not prompt or stimulate attachments.

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