3.1 – Coming back to the breath
Lesson 6 Chapter 3
Hello and welcome to day three. I'm glad you're still here.
So, over the past two days we've been working with mindful breathing, just learning how to pay attention to the feelings of the breath in a relaxed way.
So, noticing the sensations in the body when we breathe in and when we breathe out. Today we're going to add another layer to that and we're going to learn how to work with a wandering mind.
So, what you might have noticed in our first couple sessions is that when you try to pay attention to the breath, the mind very quickly starts to wander away.
The mind will go into the past thinking about regrets or things it's done or things other people have done or it might go into the future and started thinking about all the things you still have to do; your work and emails and have to message this friend and that friend.
And so the mind just does this. It wanders all over the place.
It's very important to know that when your mind wanders it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.
This is just what the mind does.
It's what the mind was made to do; to wander and to think. So, in mindfulness we just want to notice when it wanders and then we want to gently bring our attention back to the breath.
This is really how we practice mindful breathing. As we feel the sensations of the breath in the body and then eventually the mind will start to wander off.
And when it does we just notice it. Whenever we wake up, whenever we realize, “oh I'm lost in thought,” and we bring our attention back to the breath. And how we bring our attention back is actually very important.
We want to come back with patience and with kindness rather than with self-criticism or self-doubt.
This is something that I really wish I had known when I first started meditation.
This would have saved me years of beating myself up and feeling like I was no good at meditating. It’s understanding that meditation is not about just being with the breath.
It's much more important to be able to be patient with yourself than it is to just stay with the breath because essentially Mindfulness is not about the breath.
It's about how we're relating to our experience.
And so we really want to relate to everything with patience and kindness rather than with judgment and self-criticism.
So, in the next video lesson in the guided meditation we're going to work with this, with learning how to come back with patience rather than noticing that we're lost in thought and beating ourself up for it.
So, if you're ready to get started, go ahead and click on the next video and I'll see you there.