Meditation How to Observe the Mind

MINDFUL MONDAY (24) from Roland Dörig

A common myth about meditation is that meditation is about "nothing to think about ".

Is it really possible to “think nothing”?
Only when we think that we shouldn't think anything, then we are already thinking something. Especially when we sit still and our mind has nothing to do, then it automatically begins to occupy itself. He remembers the wonderful weekend or thinks about what still needs to be done in the coming week. So if we have the right to think nothing in meditation, then frustration is inevitable. The more we try not to think in meditation, the less it will be possible to calm the mind.

But what is meditation then about?
In meditation we learn to observe our mind,
to familiarize ourselves with it and to guide it.
Meditation = Gom (Tibetan) = familiarize oneself with.

We cannot stop or switch off our thoughts, but we can decide how much attention to give them.

Our minds are often like a little puppy; restless and curious to discover the world. It is particularly difficult for him to sit still ... unless he gets a good bone to occupy himself with.
In order to make it a little easier for our mind to calm down during meditation and not focus its attention on the thoughts, we can give it a meditation object (e.g. the breath) on which it can focus. Meditation is then about being very attentive to this meditation object with our mind and observing it with interest. It is quite normal for our mind to wander from time to time. In meditation we practice to determine as quickly as possible when our mind wanders in order to prevent our thoughts from becoming a whole chain of associations in which we then lose ourselves. When we find that the mind has wandered, we kindly bring it back by returning our attention to the breath without judging ourselves for wandering! The result of the exercise can then be that there are longer and longer phases of empty thoughts.

Meditation is not"Think nothing".
Meditation is: learning to observe and direct the mind.

This is exactly where the benefits of meditation for everyday life lie. We recognize our thought patterns faster and can get rid of automatic reactions. Every action starts with a thought. If we learn to observe our thoughts and consciously direct them to where we want them, then we gain freedom about how we act.

Would you like to try that out?
You can find it on our blog free some guided meditations as audio stream.
Or maybe you would like to learn more about meditation in an introductory meditation course in St.Gallen or Bern.