Monday Teaching: “Meditation and Thought Management”: The most common question or concern that people have when they speak to me about Meditation is— how do I slow my thoughts down and/or I can’t seem to stop my thoughts or empty my mind. Meditation is not about stopping thoughts. Our brain is glorious and intricate and it’s meant to think and guide our body. So, let that question go. Tip #1: Remember Mind/Body/Spirit. Meditation is truly just as much about feeling the muscles, your blood circulation and heart rate as it is about the thoughts. So first–relax those shoulders!!!! Tip #2: Feel The inhale and feel the exhale. Really feel the Breath. Tip #3: As you close your eyes, realize it is what you are meant to be doing by closing the eyes and seeing the light and dark before you. You are not “missing” anything in your life by “not doing” something else. You are doing what is so important. This being nervous to even close the eyes stops so many people form a mindful experience. Relaxing your entire nervous system is what is important right then. Soften the eye lids into being closed, then inhale, exhale three times, feel the ground beneath you. That is the start. Tip #4: Now for the Thoughts—notice them. Be aware of them and begin by stating “there is” a thought about..(repeat the thought) …then exhale. Relax the shoulders (again). Exhale. See the light and dark. Feel the ground beneath you. (Mind/Body/Spirit) If you keep doing this, and just repeat gently to yourself, “there is” a thought about ……. the thoughts will begin to slow and you will witness that. Exhale. You will begin to be witness or observe your thoughts and begin to realize how they slow down and you will not be using that term “there is” as much. You may also begin to notice a thought and label it “past or future”–where was the mind–in the past or future? The exhale back to your belly. Simple labeling is the start. You will feel the softening and before you know it you may not even be labeling. You’ll be gently smiling. But if all gets going too fast again, gently and kindly repeat the labeling. This is a beginning. Good luck everyone. You’re on the right road! –oh–and remember–even slowing your nervous system down for one full minute has notable health benefits. Go for it.
Best; Dianne Elsom, LCSW, Meditation Facilitator