Noting Thoughts to See Where the Mind Is
Noting Thoughts to See Where the Mind Is: When you observe your own thoughts, you naturally create separation from them. because you see that they often arise on their own.
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Simply by bringing awareness to the mind,
you naturally detach from its thoughts and meanderings.
When you observe your own thoughts,
you naturally create a separation from them,
because you see that they often arise on their own.
In this way, you are not as likely to get sucked into each thought.
You can notice individual thoughts, overarching mental states, or how active or dull the mind is in any given moment.
This practice offers yet another way to understand the thinking mind.
You will use a simple noting exercise to look at where the mind is as thoughts arise.
Rather than focusing on the content of the thoughts themselves, you will tune in to their general context.
Close the eyes and adjust the body to find a comfortable and sustainable posture.
As you will be working with thoughts, it is helpful to dedicate the first five minutes to building concentration.
Choose a place in the body and rest the awareness on the breath.
When the mind wanders, simply bring it back with kindness to the experience of breathing.
Open your awareness to the mind and thought processes.
Using the breath as your anchor, stay with the sensation of breathing until a thought comes up.
When you notice a thought arise, note what its general context is.
Rather than tuning in to the specifics of the thought, note whether it is rumination, problem solving, fantasizing, or another thinking pattern.
When you recognize you are thinking, note the thought and return to the breath.
Patiently sit with the body breathing, waiting for another thought to arise.
Again, note what the thought is in general without diving into specifics or getting wrapped up in it.
After five minutes or so, you may consider adding in an additional piece.
Note whether the thought is about the past, present, or future.
Without labeling one as good or another as bad, just note where the mind is.
As you come out of this practice, try to retain some awareness of the thinking mind.
Going about daily tasks, recognize when the mind is off and wandering.
Try noting where the mind is when you see this happening.