Monday, June 02, 2008

Mindfulness Journal: The Unquiet Mind

Sitting quietly and trying to meditate, my mind roars with thoughts.

While going about my usual business, this must be what my mind does all of the time, although I am so busy with the external world that I don't necessarily notice just how wildly raging my thoughts really are.

When my eyes close and my body comes into stillness, I'm shocked by my mind's predilection for staying "mindlessly" engaged with itself, despite the fact that a majority of the thoughts being generated are superfluous and relatively meaningless concerns for the future or the past.

Sitting quietly, no matter the time of day, my mind's ability to simply focus on my breathing is negligible. Pema Chodron says that one must not only cultivate mindfulness and compassion for other sentient beings, one must also cultivate compassion for one's own mind and thoughts. She states that, even during meditation, the thoughts that arise---both negative and positive---need to be seen with compassion and without judgment. One must not even judge one's inability to be non-judgmental.

This mindfulness practice may be the most difficult work in life, but it also seems like the most crucial practice of all.
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