You Are Not Your Thoughts; You Are The Thinker Of The Thoughts.
So, probably you will ask your self – is it possible? In only 5 minutes?
Of course it is.
But let’s start from the beginning.
The Concept of Mindful Open Awareness Meditation:
Mindful Open Awareness Meditation is also known as “open attention” or “open monitoring”.
In fact it is best known as “soft focus” and it is a form of mindfulness meditation in which you grant to a lot of things present in your consciousness, like for example – sounds and other sensory input, but also to your thoughts and emotions, to arise in your awareness and then naturally fall away as they are replaced by different sounds and thoughts. This kind of meditation, actually, is considered a “yin” practice.
The archaic concept of yin and yang introduce the two fundamental sides of nature: spiritual and physical, feminine and masculine. Of course, this does not refer exclusively to male or female, but to the masculine and feminine in all form of life.
Yin is the feminine aspect of all things and is always associated with that which is extensive, open, and receptive, while yang represent the masculine aspect of all things and is connected with that which is precise, active, and explicit. We all have both yin qualities and yang qualities, and the same is true of meditation practices.
The Mindfulness Sutras, also known as Satipatthana Suttas are the first foundational texts for what we know today as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness specify the state of mind in which you are totally aware of all the information your senses are processing. In the Eastern traditions, there are six natural senses that all humans are born with. The five conventional senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, and the sixth sense: thought. Our brains are created to think, so, thoughts are their natural product. The mindfulness meditation learn us how to change our relationship to the thoughts occurring, especially as we gradually learn to consider them as sensory input rather than facts or events we need to respond to. Yes, it is true that they provide important information, but they are not essentially different from or more important than, let`s say, the taste of apple or hearing a Vivaldi symphony. That`s why it is a difficult lesson to learn because thoughts present themselves as reflections of reality. Or, in a simpler way they present themselves as true.
But, let’s take an example of the risky ways when thoughts can make us believe things that aren’t always true. Imagine you send a text to your girlfriend or boyfriend, inviting her/him to a dinner. After few hours, you still don’t have any answer, even that they usually reply right away. By the time you go to bed that night, you’ve decided that she/he doesn’t want to come and is trying to think of a good excuse. So, your feelings are hurt.
The next morning, you wake up to a text from her/him: “Sorry for the delay. Phone died, I was out all day without my charger. I’d love to come!”
Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true.
Let`s go back now to the Mindful Open Awareness Meditation and to learn how to fix this issue.
Because, as we say – you are not your thoughts; you are the thinker of the thoughts. We could never act on all of our thoughts, and there are a lot of thoughts we shouldn’t act on or believe in if we want to have a healthy and well-balanced life. So, this mindfulness meditation practice will help you discern which thoughts support your ambitions and well-being and which thoughts are totally destructive or unhealthy and should be discarded.
Today you will learn how to open your awareness to include the fullness of the moment you are in, but also how to fight against your depression and increased your happiness.
The Open Awareness Meditation Practice: What You’ll Need
Meditation Length: 5 Minutes
-A comfortable chair or cushion where you can sit with your spine comfortably erect.
-A quiet place to sit where you won’t be easily disturbed.
-A timer (if you decide to use the timer on your smartphone, it is best to put the phone on airplane mode or silent to prevent distractions from incoming alerts).
-Your meditation notebook and a pen or pencil.
Try to have your weight comfortably balanced between your left and right sides. If you are sitting, it is recommended allowing your hands to rest comfortably in your lap or on your knees. If you choose to stand, have your arms resting comfortably at your sides.
You Can Start Meditating: Follow This Steps
1. Set your timer for five minutes.
2. Allow your eyes to gently close.
3. Feel your breath as your lungs expand and contract.
4. Notice the sensations along the surface of your skin, feeling the air in the room.
5. Bring your awareness to space above your head, noticing any sounds or movement in the space above you.
6. Move your awareness to the space below you, noticing where your body touches the cushion or floor. Notice any subtle vibrations from the floor.
7. Keep your body in a restful stillness, bring your awareness to space in front of you, as far as your senses can reach.
8. Next, notice any sounds or movement to your right.
9. Move your awareness to space behind you, filling the room, even expanding beyond the room.
10. Move your awareness to your left.
11. Envision your awareness as a glow in all directions around you, mentally scanning all directions at once – simply witnessing the moment as it is.
It is recommended to end the meditation gently and mindfully. For some persons, this means calmly beginning to move and stretch the body before opening their eyes.
For others, this means saying a brief prayer or setting an intention for their day, for example: And now, I am going to have an efficient and positive workday. Whatever way is most natural for you to wrap up, do it. What is important: give yourself a moment to exit the meditation without a sense of rushing. Transitioning mindfully out of meditation helps you keep the relaxed state developed during your practice, thus extending the “shelf life” of the benefits of calmness, clarity, and openness.
We also recommend to try this:
Do a mindful check-in at work: Take a brief moment to mindfully experience the workplace from your usual spot. Mentally scan in all directions around you.
–Do a mindful check-in during your meals: Notice the fragrances, the sounds, and the thoughts arising in your mind.
–Do a mindful check-in at the market: When visiting one of the places you usually do your shopping, take a moment to notice the temperature, the smells, the music, and the conversations happening in the background.
–Anywhere you find yourself, do a mindful awareness check-in: Whenever appropriate, take a moment to close your eyes and listen in all directions around you. Be present with wherever you are, whenever you are actually there. Take it all in!
And you will “Shine” all day long!
Sources: Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You by Benjamin W. Decker