9.1 – That Which Hinders Your Task

Another common obstacle to meditation is distractions. Distractions in the environment around you, and also, internal distractions.

For example, you sit down to meditate, everything's quiet and peaceful, and one minute into your meditation, you start hearing a conversation just outside your room.

Or maybe there's a construction site a block away and you start hearing a jackhammer. So, what do we do in this in this situation?

The inclination of the mind is to run away and say, “Oh I can't meditate like this. This is too noisy in the environment. I need a quiet and peaceful place.”

But, what you'll realize is that, almost anywhere you go will have some distractions.

Whether distractions in the sound, or they might be internal distractions.

Distractions we bring about ourselves; like distracting thoughts and distracting emotions.

So, today we're going to learn how to work with distractions of any kind; whether it's an external distraction, like sounds, or sights, or smells, or internal distractions; like feelings in the body, or emotions, or thoughts.

No matter what the distraction is, we can work with it in the same way.
There's a very helpful quote that I like that tells us what to do with this.

And the quote is “That which gets in the way of your task, is your task.”

So, in other words, the thing that's blocking us from trying to meditate, is the thing we can use as the object of our meditation.

So, let's say, for example, you're sitting down to practice mindful breathing, and you're just feeling the sensations of the in breath and out breath, and outside, there's a lot of noise; maybe a conversation or some traffic noise.

Instead of letting the noise outside pull your attention away and distract you from the breath, you can just allow your attention to go there, using the sound as the new object of meditation.

So now we've learned how to work with meditation of all different kinds.

We know mindful breathing, mindfulness of the body, we know mindful listening, and we also know mindfulness of thoughts and emotions.

So, no matter where our attention goes, you can just practice mindfulness of wherever it is in that moment.

So, when you're ready to get started, go ahead and click on the next video.


Witnessing Your Thoughts (Mindfulness Worksheet)

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